Energy theft news
Energy theft news

Jailed! Real Energy Theft Life Stories

Be alert to danger Report energy crime. Call 0800 023 2777
Be alert to danger Report energy crime. Call 0800 023 2777

A Fowey restauranteur was jailed in November 2015 after a catalogue of gas safety failings which Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said presented “a serious fire and explosion risk”.

Martin Billingsley, owner of Food for Thought and The Boathouse, which share a building and kitchens on Town Quay in Fowey was convicted of failing to meet standards relating to “public safety, prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, and protection of children from harm”.


Mr Billingsley was jailed for stealing more than £150,000 of gas over a period spanning more than 20 years.

This is not the only way that Mr Billingsley put customers’ and employees’ lives at risk. Commercial food and safety officer for Cornwall Council, Darren Hambly reported. “There was a deep fat fryer with its power cable extended by a connector wrapped in electrical tape. This was located on a stainless steel surface and in a damp, greasy atmosphere,” he said. “If this was energised and moisture seeped into the joint, there was the potential risk of electric shock.”

According to St Austell fire station manager Mike Tremellen, Mr Billinsley’s actions presented “a serious fire and explosion risk to the licensed premises itself, and the private sector accommodation and the holiday accommodation, both located above the licensed premises”.

If you know of any commercial premises, restaurant, hotel or other business that is putting peoples’ lives at risk by tampering with or bypassing meters, you must report this. The stayenergysafe line is a completely anonymous service powered by the national charity Crimestoppers to allow you to help prevent harm from unscrupulous energy thieves.

Source: Cornish Guardian

More real life stories

Local energy theft case reported

Local energy theft case

Could energy theft be right around the corner? Watch this report based on true stories and read more here.

Report anonymously

Meter cheating means tampering with the meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or trying to bypass the meter completely.

If you spot energy theft anywhere, report it anonymously now.