Forging gas fitter sentenced for breaching regulations

An Essex based plumber has been sentenced after carrying out unsafe and unregistered gas work in Brentwood, Essex.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that during November 2016 Josh Pitman, trading as Pitman Plumbing, installed a new Worcester Bosch Combi boiler and pipework in one property, and relocated a Baxi Duo-tec boiler and associated pipework in another, whilst not being registered with the Gas Safe Register. Mr Pitman forged the signature of a registered gas engineer, and a gas leak was detected at one of the properties following his work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Pitman was not competent to work on the gas appliances and did not possess the necessary qualifications to carry out gas work. He was not registered with Gas Safe Register at the time he carried out the work.

Mr Pitman of Billericay, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching two charges of Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 12 weeks custody for each offence, to be served concurrently, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement Days. Mr Pitman was also required to pay costs of £1000 and a £630 compensation order to one of the homeowners.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said: “Mr Pitman showed a clear disregard for the law and put his customers’ lives at risk. He had previously been an apprentice in the gas trade, so it is inconceivable that he did not know of the requirement for gas safe registration.

“Carrying out gas work is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.”

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, adds: “Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on. We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card, and if they have any concerns about the safety of work carried out in their home, to speak to us.”

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