Man in court after he stopped his ESB meter from taking a reading

The ESB brought a charge of unlawfully interfering with electricity against a Ballina man after an ESB technician discovered that the man’s ESB meter had a coat hanger placed in it, through a drilled hole, which stopped the meter reading how much electricity was being used.

State solicitor Vincent Deane, who represented the ESB, outlined that on April 15 2010 a network technician went to the residence of Martin Collins, 121 Abbey Court, Culleens, Ballina, to check the ESB meter. He discovered the hanger and then changed the meter. An invoice for the damage was sent to Collins.

Estimated electricity used without paying was €1,007 and damage to the ESB meter was €192.

Solicitor for the defendant, Marc Loftus, said that his client was under financial pressure at the time. To date, Collins has paid €250 towards the bill.

Judge Mary Devins said that she “dislikes being a debt collector for anyone”. She adjourned the case to December 7 2012 to see had the full amount been paid, pending which, she would make certain recommendations.


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