A WOMAN has spoken of her shock after British Gas ‘broke into’ her house in Poole while she was out.

Rebecca Manston returned to her home in Creekmoor on January 17 to find a letter from the company in her kitchen.

A new pre-payment meter had been fitted outside.

“I asked my husband Jonathan if he had been home to let them in. He said he hadn’t been.

“When I phoned British Gas’s customer services, they had no record of anyone coming to my house,” claimed the mother of three.

Mrs Manston says she contacted the police, who were also told by British Gas that no one from the company had visited the property in Creekmoor.

“Five minutes later, British Gas phoned me back to say they had found the details and that they had come out.

“They climbed over my back gate and must have used a locksmith to open the door.

“They had applied for a warrant, for which I have to pay £52.

“There was no discussion about it. They just came and did it.

“I was absolutely terrified more than anything because I didn’t know how they had got in.

“I have three small children.

“Their safety is paramount.

“Someone has been in my house without me being present.”

Mrs Manston admitted she had fallen behind in paying her gas bills and said she had received a letter from British Gas telling her the company might fit a pre-payment meter.

She denies receiving any correspondence about court proceedings.

She added that she had to have the back door lock changed following the incident because it was not working properly.

Mrs Manston has a five-year-old disabled son, twin four-year-old boys, and has to take strong painkillers for a back problem.

“I’m usually in during the day time. I sleep a lot and could have been upstairs,” she said.

A spokeswoman for British Gas said: “We did not receive any payment on Mrs Manston’s gas account for a considerable period of time.

“We contacted Mrs Manston more than 10 times to try to agree a repayment plan.

“As a last resort we applied to the court for a warrant to fit a prepayment meter.

“Mrs Manston was informed of the court date but did not attend.

“The meter-fitter had to enter her home to check that all devices were working correctly after installing the meter externally.

“Mrs Manston’s property was left secure.”