ESB meter had hole drilled through it

A 53-year-old woman was before Castlebar District Court on Wednesday as an ESB meter in her home was discovered to have been tampered with which stopped electricity used being registered.

On March 28 2011, ESB employees called to the home of Mary McDonagh, Saleen, Castlebar, after an ESB meter reader noticed that there was a problem with the house’s meter. A hole had been drilled through the meter in order to place an item through the hole to stop the electricity reading.

The meter was taken out and replaced. The cost of this was €192. The loss of revenue to the ESB was €1,245.

Solicitor for the defendant, Marc Loftus, said that his client moved into the house in March 2009 and did not know that the box was tampered with until the ESB inspector called. Daily use prior to the detection recorded 4.1 units of electricity being used and after the new meter was installed it registered usage as 14.1 units per day.

McDonagh said that the meter is located 10 feet high on the wall and she did not have access to it as she had no ladder and does know anything about meters.

Judge Mary Devins adjourned the matter for sentencing to October 17.

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