At last week’s sitting of Ballina District Court, Judge Mary Devins highlighted the seriousness of interfering with electricity meters, pointing out that people not only risk their own lives, but also risk a child being killed.
The court heard that on November 14, 2011, an ESB employee attended the then residence of John Paul Collins at 27 Bunree Rd, Ballina. On inspection of the ESB meter by the meter reader, John Paul Collins now of 51 Moy Heights, Ballina, was found to have interfered with the meter in order to prevent it from rotating.
State Solicitor Vincent Deane told the court that Mr Collins was issued with an invoice for damages amounting to €381.59, and insisted that it was not about the ‘financial aspect’ but ‘about safety’. Solicitor for Mr Collins, Mr Peter Loftus, said his client accepted the danger of his actions and that it was his first offence.
Judge Devins said she wondered how there have not been reports of people being electrocuted or seriously injured while carrying out the dangerous procedure, which involves interfering with electrical mains.
Speaking about the worrying trend, Mr Loftus said it was quite surprising that serious accidents had not happened as a result of the practice.
Judge Devins adjourned the case until July 23.