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Illegal gas fitter prosecuted after brother condemns quality of work

We often blog about recent health and safety prosecutions, but this week’s blog takes a twist indeed when a properly registered gas engineer raises concerns over a boiler he had no idea was installed by his unregistered plumber brother…

When Mark Evans installed a gas boiler, via a word of mouth recommendation at a residential property on Denys Road, Torquay he knew he was not registered with Gas Safe or legally entitled to install the boiler. However, that didn’t seem to concern the errant plumber who had also placed adverts in local Torbay publications declaring gas work would be undertaken by registered engineers, when it was in fact undertaken by himself.

After installing the boiler on Denys Road, Mark left without commissioning it. Furthermore he provided the homeowners with no paperwork and did not register the new gas boiler with the Local Authority.

The homeowner had concerns over the installation, so arranged for a different Gas Safe registered engineer to check the boiler over. Enter Mark Evans’ brother, who after looking at the boiler told the homeowner to contact Gas Safe. The Gas Safe Register Inspector found substandard workmanship and classed the installation as ‘At Risk’, meaning the boiler was in a potentially dangerous state.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which then went on to prosecute Mr Evans at Torquay Magistrates on 26 July 2016. Mark Evans was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court last week on 6 October 2016. He pleaded guilty to two breaches of gas safety regulations and was sentenced to an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to serve 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,541.00 in costs.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said: “Mark Evans put lives at risk by undertaking gas work which he was neither qualified nor registered to undertake.

“He knew he should not have done the work but continued anyway blatantly disregarding the law, the law that is there to protect members of the public.

“After a gas boiler is installed it has to be immediately commissioned to ensure that it is working safely but Mark Evans made no such check and so left the homeowners with a potentially dangerous boiler for a considerable period of time with him knowing that the boiler had not been commissioned.”

Further information about gas safety can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/