Man stole electricity from neighbouring garage

A MAN charged with stealing electricity, was told by a Sheriff that he had committed an act of "great recklessness and stupidity".

Forty-six year old James Dignan pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today to tampering with the electricity supply in garage C17 at Clermiston Crescent, Edinburgh, between 8 and 10 November last year and wiring it to garage C18, which he had been occupying.

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Fiscal Depute Lisa Welsh told Sheriff Mhairi Stephen that Dignan of Bankton Park West, Livingston, had been in arrears with the rent for the garage and the electricity had been cut off. Maintenance officers noticed that the junction box in C17 had been tampered with and a wire led to the next door garage. An electrician declared that the illegal wiring was "potentially life-threatening".

Defence solicitor, John Good, said Dignan had used the garage for his upholstery business, but that had gone bankrupt. He thought he was going to be evicted because of the rent arrears and the electricity had been cut off. He was trying to clear his garage and took the impulsive decision to take the electricity from the next door garage. His client, he added, was full of remorse, regret and shame for his action.

Fining Dignan 200, Sheriff Stephen told him: "We are left with an act of great recklessness and stupidity which could have caused danger to yourself and others".