Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 16:04 UK

Apology for singing shop worker

Sandra Burt and Dale Alexander. Pic by Central Scotland News Agency
Sandra Burt was told she needed a licence to sing in the store

A shop assistant who was told she could not sing while she stacked shelves without a performance licence has been given an apology.

Sandra Burt, 56, who works at A&T Food store in Clackmannanshire, was warned she could be fined for her singing by the Performing Right Society (PRS).

However the organisation that collects royalties on behalf of the music industry has now reversed its stance.

They have sent Mrs Burt a bouquet of flowers and letter of apology.

Mrs Burt, who describes herself as a Rolling Stones fan, said that despite the initial warning from the PRS, she had been unable to stop herself singing at work.

They would need to put a plaster over my mouth to get me to stop, I can't help it
Sandra Burt
Singing shop worker

The village store where Mrs Burt works was contacted by the PRS earlier this year to warn them that a licence was needed to play a radio within earshot of customers.

When the shop owner decided to get rid of the radio as a result, Mrs Burt said she began singing as she worked.

She told the BBC news website: "I would start to sing to myself when I was stacking the shelves just to keep me happy because it was very quiet without the radio.

"When I heard that the PRS said I would be prosecuted for not having a performance licence, I thought it was a joke and started laughing.

"I was then told I could be fined thousands of pounds. But I couldn't stop myself singing.

"They would need to put a plaster over my mouth to get me to stop, I can't help it."

In response to the furore created by their initial hardline, the PRS contacted Mrs Burt to apologise.

In a note attached to a large bouquet of flowers they said: "We're very sorry we made a big mistake.

"We hear you have a lovely singing voice and we wish you good luck."



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