Meath Prosecutions for Gas Meter Interference
Gas Meter Tampering Puts Family, Neighbours and Own Lives at Risk
Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed the verdict in a case relating to unlawful interference with a gas meter. Mr Kirk Boylan and Ms Michelle Coleman with an address of 40 Woodlands Park, Ratoath, Co. Meath were convicted at Navan District Court on charges of unlawful interference with a gas meter on Friday last, April 26th.
The court heard that Gas Networks Ireland had carried out an investigation at the property in February 2019 and found that the meter had been unlawfully interfered with. Mr Boylan, pleaded guilty in court to having unlawfully tampered with the meter. Judge Cormac Dunne, having heard the evidence, stated that the offence was at the higher end of the scale in terms of seriousness and more worryingly was the threat to public safety.
Judge Dunne recorded convictions against both Mr. Boylan and Ms. Coleman and imposed fines of €2,500.
Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager for Gas Networks Ireland said:
“This verdict sends out an important message to the public that meter tampering is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences. Fraud is a very serious issue, but far more serious is the risk to life that meter tampering poses to the perpetrator and to people nearby. We are working to end unlawful interference with gas meters and the dangers associated with this activity.”
“Rogue contractors can make seemingly attractive offers, but the dangers involved, in allowing someone who is not registered and qualified to do the work, are very real. Anyone who either interferes with a gas meter themselves or agrees to allow someone who is not a Registered Gas Installer to work on their gas installations is risking their own life, those of their family, and of people living nearby.”
Due to the dangers involved, gas meter tampering is a criminal offence with possible fines of up to €5,000 and prison sentences of up to 6 months for those found guilty of the crime. Gas Networks Ireland has been actively engaged in identifying, and making safe, installations where tampering has been found and has detected over 2,600 cases of meter tampering across the country since 2013.
Members of the public are asked to report any suspicions of meter tampering to Gas Networks Ireland in strict confidence by calling 1850 200 694. Further information is available at www.gasnetworks.ie/metertampering
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