A FATHER-of three who deliberately tampered with the electricity meter at his rented home has was fined €800 and ordered to reimburse his electricity provider.
Daniel O’Halloran, aged 28, who has an address at The Grove, Shannondale, Old Cratloe Road pleaded guilty to two offences under the provisions of the Energy Miscellaneous Provisions Act.
Solicitor Michelle Madden, prosecuting, said the offences was detected by an engineer from ESB Networks when the electricity meter at the house was inspected on March 21, 2014.
“There was a hole at the bottom of the meter and a wire inserted into it,” she told Judge Marian O’Leary adding that in addition to it being a criminal offence, it presented a “huge danger” to both Mr O’Halloran and the general public.
A detailed analysis of electricity consumption at the house over the preceding 12 months showed the average daily use had been recorded at 2.2units per day when, in fact, an average of 11.8units had been used/
The total undercharging, Ms Madden told the court, was €717.18.
She added that ESB Networks replaced the meter at a cost of €197.
Solicitor John Herbert said his client has made some repayments to his electricity provider since the offence was detected.
“It was a great idea when it was conceived and when it was going on,” he said adding that his client “now recognises the short sighted-nature of what he did and the dangers it posed.”
Mr Herbert said his client, who is unemployed, had tampered with the meter shortly after he moved into the house, where he continues to live with his family.
Judge O’Leary imposed fines totalling €800 and she directed that Mr O’Halloran pay the balance of the money owed to Prepay Power (€384.59) within six months.
She also ordered that he pay €197 to ESB Networks to cover the cost of installing the replacement meter.
The judge refused an application, made by Ms Madden, for costs totalling €1,000.