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A self-employed gas fitter has been sentenced to 16 months in prison after he carried out unsafe gas work while falsely pretending to be Gas Safe Registered.
Richard Trezise, 55 years old, was prosecuted following investigations by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors at seven different locations where the Gas Safe Register had been alerted to unsafe work. He had produced Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificates and falsely claimed to be Gas Safe Registered by using the registration number of another business who had never heard of him. He left customers with faulty installations that presented risks of gas leaks and dangerous accumulations of the products of combustion.
According to Nottinghamshire Live, Mr Trezise said in his defence:
I am totally sorry. I didn’t intend to deceive anybody. I am a qualified gas fitter, just not Gas Safe registered. I don’t want to be gas fitting again.”
An HSE investigation found that between May 2015 and July 2016 Richard Trezise had carried out work whilst unregistered and whilst falsely pretending to be Gas Safe Registered at seven different locations in Nottinghamshire, Mid Glamorgan, Gwent and Yorkshire.
Richard Trezise had previously pleaded guilty to 21 offences under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in Nottingham Magistrates Court. He was sentenced to a 16 months prison and a concurrent 28 day sentence for not attending the court hearing.
Presiding judge in the case, HHJ Burgess, stated of Mr Trezise:
You intentionally breached the law. You used false certificates of registration. You defied an existing prohibition notice. And all of this was for financial gain.
“It almost goes without saying that faulty gas installations can lead to gas leaks, explosion and death. This is the reason that the regulations exist and why a breach of them is likely to be regarded as extremely serious.”
In 2011 Trezise was given a prohibition notice designed to prevent him from doing gas fitting work until he was registered with Gas Safe. However, he breached the notice the next year and was prosecuted. In 2013, he was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.
He claims that he will never again return to the industry and now plans to work in a fish and chips shop.