A MAN who allowed a neighbour to tamper with his electricity meter in order to get a free supply was caught out by a police search of his home.
Officers were visiting Cameron Robinson’s home on another matter when they noticed the electricity meter had been tampered with.
The 39-year-old, also known as Cameron McLelland, was arrested by police for the offence.
Robinson had pleaded guilty to a charge of abstracting electricity without authority at an earlier hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
He was back at the South Shields court yesterday for sentencing.
The court heard that he had been able to use electricity without it being charged to the meter from October to November last year while he was a tenant at a property in Marshall Wallis Road, South Shields.
He now lives in Laybourn Gardens, South Shields.
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “On November 20, a police officer attended the address in Marshall Wallis Road in relation to another matter.
“During the search, it became apparent that the electricity meter had been bypassed, so that electricity could be abstracted without it showing up on the meter.
“It had been bypassed by using a small wire, giving the occupant free electricity.”
Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “He was a resident at the address from April of last year.
“In October of last year, his electricity went off, and he asked a neighbour to help him to fix it.
“It was the neighbour who tampered with the electricity meter. However, he was aware of it.
“He had financial difficulties at the time.”
Robinson was handed an 18-month conditional discharge by magistrates.
He was also ordered to pay compensation of £100 to the property’s electricity supplier, SSE.