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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
World Cup turned off for Ron, 81
Ron Bent
Ron Bent is at the care home for two weeks during the World Cup
An 81-year-old football fan from Kent could miss crucial World Cup games because of a licensing crackdown on televisions in care homes.

Ron Bent, who is in a care home for two weeks, cannot have a TV in his room without paying the full 131.50 fee.

This is because short-term care home residents are treated as if they have a second home.

The licensing authority said each case was assessed and prosecution would only go ahead if in the public interest.

Staff at Wayfarers, the Kent County Council (KCC) home where Mr Bent has stayed before for respite care, were threatened with prosecution and fines of up to 1,000 a week if they allowed TVs in short-stay rooms.

It is not fair, it is not right and it shouldn't happen
KCC cabinet member Kevin Lynes

Manager Pauline Woodcock said she was very cross but had to put the sets in storage.

Mr Bent, who used to be chairman of Charlton FC supporters' association, suffered a stroke 12 years ago.

He said: "Football has always been my love and for it to be snatched away just like that in my own little room is not very nice."

People over 75 are entitled to one free TV licence in their own home, but if they go into short-term care, they have to buy a licence.

Kent County Council believes hundreds of elderly people are affected.

"It is not fair, it is not right and it shouldn't happen," said cabinet member Kevin Lynes.

A spokesperson for TV Licensing said: "We are not specifically targeting people in care homes, though people in short-term residential accommodation do need to ensure they are properly licensed.

"The level of the licence fee and any concessions is a matter for Parliament."

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