Electricity fiddle put home at risk

Tampering with her electricity meter landed a Buxton woman with 200 hours’ community service – as magistrates could not have her electronically tagged as the electricity supplier had cut off the power supply in her home.

Security firm G4S need a electricity supply for the monitoring equipment they install temporarily at the home of those people who are given a curfew.

Mercedes Louise Harvey, 20, had been sentenced last month for tampering with the electricity supply at her home on Fairfield Road,for a second time, by bypassing the meter.

However High Peak magistrates were told on Monday that the electricity supply had been removed from her flat and was not going to be reconnected.

Kieran Henry, defending, said the supplier was not prepared to reconnect an electricity supply.

He said Harvey was hoping move on and get her life back in order, and urged magistrates to look at imposing a community order with unpaid work on his client.

Magistrate David Dusgate said: “We note our colleagues’ findings at the time. It was a second offence committed when you were subject to a community order and there was a degree of planning in this.”

He said it was a very serious offence and judging from the photograph shown to the court of the meter that had been tampered with, her actions had left the property at risk.

Imposing a 12 month community order, with 200 hours’ unpaid work, he warned Harvey: “You said today that you are a different person and want to move forward.

“We are giving you that chance but if you fail on this there maybe only one place you will be going.”