Unregistered gas fitter gets suspended sentence

A self-employed plumber has been sentenced after carrying out illegal and unsafe gas work.

North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court heard how, in April 2018, Jeffrey Lewis incorrectly installed a new boiler in a domestic property in Stoke-on-Trent. Mr Lewis was, nor had ever been, Gas Safe Registered. He also issued an invalid gas safety certificate to the occupier using a false Gas Safe registration number.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Lewis had not undertaken any appropriate training in gas work since the 1970s. By carrying out this gas work, Mr Lewis was also in breach of a Prohibition Notice issued to him by the HSE in 2015. The notice prohibited Mr Lewis from carrying out further gas work until he was competent to do so and had become registered with the Gas Safe Register.

Jeffrey Alan Lewis of Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and breaching section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He received a one year custodial sentence suspended for 18 months, a four month curfew (7pm-6am), was ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said: “Mr Lewis knew that he was not registered to undertake gas work, but still put the occupier and her family at serious risk by carrying out the work.

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life. A gas boiler must be properly commissioned by a competent gas engineer before being left operating otherwise you cannot be sure that it is working safely.”

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