A Maynooth tenant has been jailed for eight months and fine €900 for interfering with an ESB meter in his rented home.
At Kilcock District Court on 18 June, Djilali Amnar, with an address at 55 Kingsbry, Maynooth, pleaded guilty to interfering with the meter with a view to cutting down on bills.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said that while Mr. Amnar had no previous convictions, the intent to defraud was written all over what was described as a potentially dangerous act.
The Court was told the defendant’s wife, a Danish citizen, who was charged with the same offence, was in Sweden.
The Judge described her absence as “total disrespect” for the Court and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Keith McCarthy of ESB Networks told the Court that on 7 April 2011, technicians found that a hole had been bored in the meter. “Extremely dangerous,” is how he described the practice, assessing damage to the meter at €192.
Witnesses said they could get no response when they tried to set up a meeting to discuss the interference. They estimated that 9,233 units had been effectively stolen, with a worth amounting to €1,510.
David Powderly, solicitor for Mr. Amnar, said all the money has been repaid. There were other tenants in the building and they were aware of the offence. Mr. Amnar, who has three children, apologised, and had no previous convictions.
The Judge opted not to consider a suspended sentences. Recognisances were fixed by the court in the event of an appeal.