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Man who used magnet to keep electricity bills down slapped with £1,000 fine

Defendant arrested on bench warrant as he believed he was still subject of live suspended sentence

A Lurgan man has been fined £1,000 fine for using a magnet on his electricity meter.

Court heard a bench warrant had to be issued for the 45-year-old because he thought he still had a live suspended sentence.

Erin Tar Hurle, of Garland Avenue, pleaded guilty to dishonestly using electricity at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that police entered the defendant’s address on January 21 and found a magnet attached to an electricity meter in the kitchen.

They arrested Hurle at the address and during an interview he admitted to placing the magnet there to keep electricity bills down.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey informed the court that the defendant was now paying off the cost through it being taken out of every top-up Hurle made.

Addressing the issue of the defendant’s previous non-appearance at court Mr Downey said Hurle had “buried his head in the sand” after mistakenly believing he was still subject to a suspended sentence.

The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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