Mr David Mainwaring of Didcot has been convicted at Oxford Crown Court for selling unauthorized Irdeto smartcards. The court took four hours to reach a verdict against Mr Mainwarning, who pleaded not-guilty to charges brought by The Netherlands' based operator Canal Plus. The prosecutors hired Alternative Investigation Management (AIM) to search the internet for retailers offering pirate Irdeto smartcards, used to descramble the Canal Plus pay-TV satellite service. AIM's Miss Shabnam Shan discovered Prosat, a company operated by Mr Mainwaring, where Miss Shan purchased an unofficial Irdeto smartcard for £139.00. In a recorded phone conversation regarding payment, Mr Mainwaring said "The reason why we can't take cheques is because it's illegal at the moment." Defending Mr Mainwaring, Clive Sutton claimed that Miss Shan purchased a legal blank smartcard. The court fined Mr Mainwaring only £500 for his activities, in view of his company recently folding. In concluding the case, Judge Crawford commented "I'm quite sure you knew from the start that it was illegal."