herald

Friday 21 September 2018

Mum told to donate €500 over gas meter tampering at home

Jennifer Murphy was the given chance to avoid conviction
Jennifer Murphy was the given chance to avoid conviction

A woman was given a chance to avoid a conviction and sentence over interference with a gas meter at her home.

Jennifer Murphy, of Rowlagh Crescent, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to dishonestly causing gas to be diverted, unlawful interference with an authorised meter and failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure the unlawful interference was discontinued.

The court heard a gas network inspector visited her home on June 14 and found the meter had been replaced with one stolen from a house in Lucan, Co Dublin.

It had also been interfered with, and the value of gas that had passed through it was unknown.

Pleading for leniency, her barrister asked the judge to note that Murphy was an unemployed mother and wanted to become a driving instructor.

She had no previous convictions, the barrister said.

Risk

Counsel said Murphy's ex-partner had been living with her at the time, and it was her belief that the meter may have been changed at that point.

Prosecution solicitor Adrian Lennon asked the court to note that there was "still another meter adrift" and that created a public risk.

Judge John Brennan said it was clearly a very serious matter, there was a health and safety issue and the use of the stolen meter was of grave importance.

He took into account Murphy's good record, circumstances and her explanation, and said she would be spared a conviction if she donated €500 to Focus Ireland.

The case was adjourned until a date in May, and the judge warned Murphy she would be convicted, fined €1,000 and ordered to pay costs if the money had not been donated before the next hearing.

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