When a British Gas worker called to read 49-year-old Trevor Brown's meter he found it had been pulled off the wall, along with its flexible pipes, and was suspended by wire at a 90 degree angle so the gas flow did not register, it was claimed.
The meter reader reported the matter to David Darby, an investigator, who visited the house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, to find the meter was back on its original bracket in the garage with a wine rack fitted above it.
Mr Brown said an electrician had removed the meter from the wall but refused to divulge his telephone number or address.
Mr Darby said that while the investigation was taking place Mr Brown, who pleads not guilty to stealing pounds 3.14 of gas between 13 January and 17 February this year, had complained to British Gas that his meter was not working.
John Ellis, a retired police chief superintendent, told the court Mr Brown's work was 'first class' and that he had saved the force pounds 750,000.
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