A SKELMERSDALE man who risked his neighbours’ lives by bypassing the electricity meter in his home and owed West Lancashire Borough Council £583.63 in rent arrears has been evicted.
The council repossessed 52-year-old Trevor Bowden’s council flat in Waverley, Old Skelmersdale, after a hearing at Wigan County Court.
The court heard that Lancashire Police informed the council that they had visited Bowden’s flat and found he had bypassed the electricity meter.
The court was told that Bowden was convicted on November 25 last year of dishonestly using electricity at the property.
He was issued with a 12-month community order with a supervision requirement and ordered to undertake a drug and alcohol treatment programme for six months.
Bowden was also ordered to pay compensation of £405.19.
A council officer provided a statement to the court which stated: “In illegally obtaining electricity, not only has the defendant used his home for illegal activity but he has also jeopardised the health and safety of other residents within the same block.
“This council has a duty to protect the other residents within the block, who have a right to be able to live in their homes without risk of harm through the tampering of electrical equipment.
“Mr Bowden has thus failed to act as an appropriate tenant and the council cannot tolerate such criminal and anti-social behaviour.”
Deputy District Judge Leyland ordered Bowden to pay back the rent arrears, plus the council’s costs of £226.75.
He was formally evicted on March 27 this year.
After the court hearing, Bob Livermore, assistant director housing and regeneration, said: “Mr Bowden put the lives of his neighbours in danger through bypassing the electricity meter.”