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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Council tenant evicted after bypassing electricity meter

A tenant has been evicted by the Council for putting the lives of neighbours at risk.

The authority took legal action against Alan Moore, aged 42, after he bypassed the electricity meter of his flat in Blakehall, Digmooor.

Bypassing electricity meters is taken extremely seriously by the Council, not only for the criminal nature of the offence but also due to the significant risk of fire caused by this activity.

Wigan County Court heard an officer of a utility company discovered that Mr Moore had bypassed the meter when visiting the property.

A Council officer gave evidence which said: "The defendant lives in a block of flats, so was not only putting his own life in danger but that of all the other residents."

His written statement also said: "The defendant has clearly breached the tenancy agreement in performing this illegal and dangerous act within his flat."

The Court granted possession of the property back to the Council and Mr Moore, who was not at the hearing, was evicted on 31 January 2018. He was not at the property when the eviction was carried out.

Since the court hearing over possession of the property and the eviction took place, the Council has become aware that Mr Moore pleaded guilty to abstracting/using electricity worth £297.72 without authority in a separate conviction secured by the utility company that discovered the electricity had been bypassed.

He was sentenced at Preston Magistrates Court to a 12-month community order and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85.

After the hearing Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: "The heightened risk to neighbours' lives if a fire had broken out because of the defendant's irresponsible actions was horrendous."

Councillor Jenny Forshaw, portfolio holder for Housing and Landlord Services, said: "The message to tenants is clear. This type of illegal and dangerous activity is likely to lead to them facing legal action from the Council."

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