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Illegal Gas Fitter Handed Custodial Sentence

A plumber from Torbay and the company who contracted him have been prosecuted after it was found that they had left their work in a dangerous condition at a Torquay home.

Exeter Crown Court heard that the illegal gas fitter, Mark Baker, who was also an unregistered plumber, was contracted by Marc Robertson, who is the Director of 1st Maintenance, to fit a gas boiler at a Coker Avenue property where the firm was carrying out home improvement work.

After the installation of the gas boiler at the property, Mr Baker told the homeowner that he had commissioned the boiler but failed to register the gas boiler with the Local Authority and issued no paperwork, both of which are required by law.

Once installed, the homeowner complained about several problems with the gas boiler and things came to a head when a fully qualified gas engineer visited the property on another matter. When at the property, the properly qualified engineer raised concerns about the installation of the gas boiler and as a result the homeowner contacted the Gas Safe Register.

An inspector from the Gas Safe Register came across a number of major faults with the work that Mr Baker had carried out and listed the boiler as being in the ‘At Risk’ category, which means it could pose a potential threat to life.

Mr Baker, of Daison Crescent, Torquay, pleaded guilty to two gas safety regulation breaches and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, along with over £4,000 in costs.

Meanwhile, 1st Maintenance Ltd, of Grange Road, Allacombe, Torquay, also pleaded guilty to one breach of the gas safety regulations and was fined £6,000, along with £640 in costs.

Simon Jones, HSE inspector, said: “Mr Baker put lives at risk by undertaking gaswork which he was neither qualified nor registered to undertake, work which put the homeowner’s life at risk.”

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024