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16 Aug 2022

Mother interfered with ESB meter costing €198

Thurles district court

Mother interfered with ESB meter costing €198

Thurles District Court

A mother who unlawfully interfered with the electrical supply in her home, caused a loss to ESB of €198, heard a sitting of Thurles district court.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath heard that a technician found a wire sticking through a meter, at the home address of Sylvia Hatnancikova, of Noard, Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles.

Ms Hatnancikova, was subsequently charged with unlawfully interfering with, “an article, on or under the control of the ESB,” on October 3, 2017, contrary to Section 15 of the Energy Act, 1995. In a case taken by ESB Networks DAC, Ms Hatnancikova was also charged with not duly registering, or causing to be registered, a quantity of electricity being supplied to the premises by reason of the meter being interfered with, and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the interference was discontinued.

The damage has not been repaid, and the cost of the unpaid electricity to ESB came to €198.

Ms Hatnancikova had interfered with a “live electrical object” making it a health and safety issue, heard the court. Solicitor Brian Hughes said the offence took place where Hatnancikova lives with her partner and children.

Ms Hatnancikova (32) is from Slovakia, and is a carer. She had “certain domestic pressures” on her at the time of the offence. “She does need to realise how dangerous this is,” said the judge. She was not alone in the house, and she “does accept it is wrong,” said Mr Hughes. “She is pleading to this.” Judge MacGrath said she would give Ms Hatnancikova two months to come up with the payment of €198, and for full compensation to be paid in relation to the damaged meter, and adjourned the matter to April 16 next.

“You must outline to your client the seriousness of this offence,” the judge told Mr Hughes.

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