Dewi Jones, a 44-year-old officer who hails from Margam Village, Port Talbot in the U.K., has a very good explanation. Jones was really a sort of Robin Hood, stealing from the evil, rich record company to help out the penny-pinching fans.
Prosecutor Ben Blakemore told Swansea Crown Court that, “He felt the fans were having to pay vastly inflated prices and he was providing them with a cheaper alternative,” according to the Daily Mail.
Defense lawyer Stephen Rees, who described Jones as “a highly respected serving police office of impeccable character,” added, “He wanted the grass root fans to be able to obtain these recordings at a reasonable price.”
Police and trading standards officers were tipped off to Jones’ website, bruce-springsteen-bootlegs.com, where he sold the CDs and DVDs in addition to doing business on eBay. The Daily Mail noted that police were shocked the bootlegger was a serving police officer.
More than 3,500 of The Boss’ CDs were found at Jones’ home.
Jones, who said he begame “utterly obsessed” with Springsteen after seeing him perform in 1988, admitted to two charges of distributing illicit recordings in the course of a business and 10 charges of making illicit recordings for sale without consent.
He is now facing disciplinary proceedings by South Wales Police and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
After selling the CDs for £7 each (US $11.30), Jones must now pay back £22,527 (US $36,154) within six months or call jail his new home for 18 months. Judge Peter Rouch QC also ordered the office to pay a £2,950 (US $4,734.92) fine.
“Jones will have to sell the family home to meet the costs and compensation,” Rees told the court, according to the Daily Mail.
Jones is also going to have to find a new reason to start his day.
Blakemore told the court that “Springsteen was [Jones’] reason for getting out of bed in the morning and he was somebody who gave him an impetus to carry on with his life.”
Click here for the Daily Mail article.