Man is jailed for gas meter tampering
A MAN living in Lisburn has been convicted of criminal damage with intent to endanger life and for theft of gas.
Romanos Obichodenko, was convicted and sentenced to twelve months in custody for criminal damage with intent to endanger life and six months to run concurrent for theft of gas.
This is believed to be the first conviction for the more serious change of criminal damage to gas apparatus with intent to endanger life in the UK, when an explosion had not occurred.
The case was heard at Craigavon Crown Court and arose when the landlord of 6 Wesley Street, Lisburn was inspecting his property on February 13, 2012 and found the accused tampering with the gas meter.
The meter pressure regulator had also been removed. Police and Phoenix Emergency operatives attended the scene.
The electronic gas meter was recovered and was examined and diagnostically tested resulting in the determination that the meter had been tampered.
A Phoenix Natural Gas spokesman said: “These incidences are rare, however, Phoenix does continue to make safe properties where there has been detected meter tampering, an activity which is illegal, exceptionally dangerous and poses a risk to both life and property.
“As with this particular case Phoenix also passes on relevant details of properties involved in deliberate meter tampering to the relevant authorities. Anyone who believes their gas meter may have been tampered without their knowledge should contact us as soon as possible on 0800 002 001.”
A police spokesperson said: “Police welcome the sentence imposed by the court on Romanos Obichodenko for a number of offences including criminal damage with intent to endanger life.
“The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence and sends a clear message to those involved in this type of activity that it is not only illegal but poses a serious risk to life and property.
“Incidents of deliberate meter tampering reported to Police will be investigated and you will go before the courts.”
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Weather for Lisburn
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South