British Gas broke into Dox Docherty and his wife’s property to remove the gas meter despite the fact that the house had no gas supply and the couple had no account with the power company
A couple said they “no longer feel safe” in their home after British Gas and two debt collectors accidentally broke into their home over unpaid gas bills.
But Dox Docherty and his wife’s property in Langley Moor, County Durham have no gas supply — and it turns out the company got the wrong address.
The couple own the building, rent half of it as apartments, and live in the other half. He says the British gas operator and debt collectors made their way to the apartment building on 8 June in order to remove the gas meter and install the prepaid meter due to unpaid bills.
Energy companies have permission to do this if someone can’t or won’t pay what they owe – that means you can then only use what you paid for.
“We own a block of apartments adjacent to our property and my wife came out and saw three men leaving, so I asked them what they were doing. They said they had just broken into the house and picked the lock to get in to remove a meter from an apartment in the building,” Dukes said.
“We don’t have gas or a meter in that house, and there hasn’t been gas in the building for at least 30 years. They didn’t have a warrant, they had a piece of paper saying they applied for a warrant, and when we asked the Brits the gas couldn’t make a warrant though They said one of them had been released.
“I spoke to British Gas on Friday and they confirmed they broke into the wrong house. The service from British Gas was disgusting and it’s definitely not closed to us.”
The incident left the couple, who have two children, feeling insecure in their own home. We can’t sleep, said Dukes, “I get up at 1 a.m., 3 a.m. every night. Every time we hear a whistle on the car door, we look out the window.”
“We can’t relax at all, it’s awful. My wife was so shaky and even with my front door closed we don’t feel safe in our house now.”
Dox said he posted about the incident on TikTok and said other people have come forward to say the same thing has happened to them.
He said, “I posted about him on TikTok and he’s had about 13,000 visits and a lot of people are commenting on him saying that the exact same thing has happened to them. This sort of thing happens regularly across the country, it’s pretty scary.
“This could have been so much worse, it’s too scary to think about. One woman said a man broke into her house while she was in bed and was standing over her asking for her gas meter. We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
A British Jazz spokesperson said: ‘We have spoken to Mrs. Docherty to tell her we are very sorry about what happened. There was a confusion of address between the apartments and this led to a visit that was meant for another family.’
“We have adjusted our records to ensure this does not happen again and will offer them compensation for the ordeal this has caused.”