An unregistered gas fitter has been punished for carrying out illegal and unsafe work in Cornwall that put people’s lives at risk.
Ben Littleton, from Fowey, pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The 24-year-old was consequently fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,159 in costs.
The court heard how Littleton had installed boilers at two homes, one of which had an incorrectly sealed flue which meant that gases, including carbon monoxide, could have re-entered the property posing a risk to the residents.
He also illegally carried out gas safety checks for landlords at two properties in Fowey, faking safety documents by using a Gas Safe Register ID number belonging to a properly-registered company that had previously employed him.
All of this came to light after Littleton’s work on one of the boilers in question was checked by a registered gas engineer, who classed the boiler as “at risk” and alerted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Risk to homeowners
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones urged people to check an engineer’s Gas Safe ID card before any work is carried out.
“Only Gas Safe registered engineers are legally able to work with gas and Ben Littleton put lives at risk by ignoring the law,” he said.
“Members of the public and landlords trusted him when he said he was Gas Safe registered and when he used a false ID number on paperwork to deceive them.”
Date Published: March 19, 2014
Author: David Brown