A LANDSCAPE gardener who earned thousands of pounds running an illegal code-sharing scheme that cost TV giants Sky £4.8 million has been given a year-long curfew and been forced to wear an electronic tag.

Gavin Gray, 26, who faces being ordered to repay £130,000 under Proceeds of Crime laws, must stay in his house overnight from 6pm to 8am as punishment for selling decryption codes to 1,800 people which allowed them to tune into Sky Sports and movie channels for a fraction of the cost which was paid directly to him.

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Gray, of Bellshill, earned £120,434 from the scheme between January 2010 and July 2014.

Reappearing for sentencing at Hamilton Sheriff Court, his solicitor Kevin McCarron said Gray did not lead a lavish lifestyle and drove a modest car.

His aim, he told the court, was to simply save up some money to buy a house.

Depute fiscal Callum Forsyth said the scam cost Sky £1.2m per year.
Sheriff Thomas Millar said Gray said he accepted  he had had a “worthwhile upbringing” and worked with community groups such as the Boys’ Brigade.

“You are clearly a hardworking person and a custodial sentence would impact your employment.

“That means you can’t go on holiday with your friends or go out with them, you must stay in your house for the full 12-month period.”

He also ordered him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

A Sky spokeswoman said: “Broadcasting Pay TV content illegally is damaging to the media industry, which employs thousands of people across Scotland.”

Chief Inspector Mark Leonard of Police Scotland said such fraudulent schemes often see proceeds passed to human trafficking and drug dealers.