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Builder sentenced after illegal gas work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that a self-employed builder, by the name of Christopher Finley, has been found guilty and sentenced after conducting gas work that he was not registered or competent to do, and leaving said works in a dangerous condition.

In a hearing at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court it was revealed that in March 2018 Christopher Finley quoted for a kitchen re-fit, which included the installation of a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) hob. Crucially, he undertook this work and installed a new LPG gas hob, leaving no paperwork with the customer.

When his customer found problems with the hob installed in her Cornwall home, she tried contacting Mr Finley and asked for the gas safety certificate. She received no response and employed a registered gas engineer to inspect the work. He found it to be of poor standard and classed it as ‘At Risk’ as the LPG hob was fitted in a dangerous state. 

The HSE reported that Mr Finley had ‘failed to change the injectors from those fitted for natural gas to those required for LPG. There was therefore too much gas being supplied at the hob, which could have resulted in a fire and explosion.’

In addition, its investigation found that Mr Finley, the sole director of Centreline Building Services Ltd, was not and never had been a member of Gas Safe Register. He was not registered or competent to undertake gas work and so he should have employed a registered gas engineer to undertake the gas element of the kitchen re-fit.

Christopher Finley of Crockington Lane, Wolverhampton was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(1), 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He has been given a six month suspended sentence on each breach, ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £7505.40.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Finley undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do.

“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.”