A man dishonestly used electricity from a tampered meter that caused a life-threatening fire.
Gareth Lacey, 25, had to jump from an upper floor window in his flat on Brooklyn Road in Cleckheaton, after the electricity meter sparked a fire on January 31.
Lacey, now of Partridge Crescent in Thornhill, admitted dishonestly using electricity to a value of £180 at Kirklees Magistrates Court but said that he was not aware the meter had been tampered with.
He appeared in custody at the hearing, having being imprisoned for a burglary on May 5.
Prosecuting, Andy Wills, said: “There was a lot of damage done through the fire, which occurred at a Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing property.”
Lacey’s defence, Paul Blanchard, appealed for a non-custodial sentence.
“He almost lost his life in the fire and I’m certain this will live longer with him than any custodial consequences.
“He said he was not responsible for the tampering but admits he did benefit from it.”
Brian Hughes, lead magistrate, ordered Lacey to pay £180 in compensation.
He said: “I accept he may not have known about it but he did gain from it.
“On top of this, the fire could have not just risked his own life but the lives of those who live in neighbouring flats.”