A man put people’s lives at risk by ignoring warnings to stop carrying out illegal gas work in people’s homes, a court heard.
Christopher James Chapman, 63, was given a three-month suspended prison sentence, told to do 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 costs after pleading guilty at Teesside Crown Court to 10 offences relating to the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.
The court heard Chapman had carried out unsafe work with gas fittings at three homes in Darlington after ignoring warnings from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register.
The HSE, prosecuting, said Chapman, of Newlands Road in Darlington had never been registered to work on gas appliances, and was identified in 2004 as being not able to demonstrate the competence expected of a registered engineer.
The court heard how an HSE investigation into Chapman began after Gas Safe Register reported that he had repaired a boiler and installed a gas fire at a home in 2012.
Gas Safe classed the boiler as “immediately dangerous” and disconnected it, while the fire had to be turned off after being identified as being potentially life-threatening in the future, the court was told.
The investigation found that Chapman had illegally carried out two gas safety checks on appliances and installed a boiler at another house in Darlington between 2005 and 2008.
He also carried out five gas safety checks at a third home between 2005 and 2011, the court heard.
‘Considerable potential for harm to public’
Following the case, HSE inspector Jonathan Wills said: “Death or serious injury was a foreseeable consequence from the highly unsafe work carried out illegally by Mr Chapman on gas appliances.”
Mr Wills said Chapman had not been a Gas Safe registered engineer and had ignored warnings to stop carrying out gas work “with considerable potential for harm to the public”.
Accident Advice Helpline has a compensation calculator which can give people a rough idea of how much they may be able to claim in the event of being injured as a result of incompetence. Call free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
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Date Published: January 25, 2014
Author: David Brown