TWO Limerick householders were fined €400 each for tampering with gas meters in what was described as “a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences.”
Jaunius Kontrimas of Clonisle, Old Cratloe Road and Lorraine Keane of Delmege Park appeared before Limerick District Court after Gas Networks Ireland found that they interfered with their gas meters.
The meter in Clonisle, which was inspected in March 2016, was found to have been tampered with to prevent it from correctly registering the amount of gas used.
Mr Kontrimas contested the charges but Judge Marian O’Leary found him guilty of dishonestly using gas and of failing to notify Gas Networks Ireland that the meter was not operating correctly.
Judge O’Leary also recorded a conviction against Ms Keane of Delmege Park, Moyross who admitted the offence of unlawfully interfering with the meter.
Gas Networks Ireland Safety Manager Owen Wilson said that the convictions sent out an important message that meter tampering is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences.
“Customers should only ever allow a Registered Gas Installer to work on their gas boiler or meter. Rogue contractors can make seemingly attractive offers, but the dangers involved, in allowing them do the work, are very real. Anyone who either interferes with a gas meter or agrees to allow someone who is not a registered installer to work on their gas installations is risking their own life, those of their family, and of people living nearby.”
Gas meter tampering is a criminal offence with fines of up to €5,000 and prison sentences of up to six months for those found guilty of the crime. 2,300 cases of meter tampering across the country have been detected since 2013.
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