Director charged with taking electricity

Aug. 19, 2009 at 7:01 PM

LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- London taxpayers have to pay more than $8,200 for the case of a film maker accused of stealing .003 pence in electricity, a magistrates court said.

Mark Guard, 44, appeared at two separate hearings in North London before the charge was dropped and the cost added up to $8,200, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

Guard was making a documentary about crime and the homeless. He filmed squatters entering an empty building through an open window on Aug. 1. A movement sensor in the building was triggered. When the squatters fled, Guard, a former electrician, decided to remain and turn off the alarm because the noise would disturb neighboring families.

To see the alarm switch, Guard had to turn on the electricity in the building for a few seconds.

When police arrived he told them what he had done and was arrested for stealing the electricity.

He offered to pay for the electricity, but the electric company wouldn't bother collecting such a tiny sum, the report said.

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