Having a leaky roof fixed led to two older people being exposed to harmful fumes when a chimney from their gas fire was blocked.
Water had been leaking between tiles on the roof and a chimney stack at the home on Black Swan Lane in Luton when John Stanley was engaged to fix the problem.
The Health and Safety Executive had to be called in after the couple later had trouble with their gas fire and called an engineer.
They found the gas fire fumes were being sent into the loft above their bedroom and this had been happening for more than 12 months.
Mr Stanley, 47, of Hitchin Road in Luton, ended up at Luton Magistrates’ Court after the HSE prosecuted him and has been given a suspended jail term of four months.
He also has to pay the couple £500.
The court heard that to fix the leak the workman’s team took the double chimney stack apart to get to the roof felt and timbers.
When the repairs were finished, they rebuilt a single stack for the chimney.
The team did not make sure the gas fire flue was working, something that could have been done with a straightforward smoke test. It turned out they had blocked the flue from a working gas fire in the house’s back room instead of the one from a disused fire in the front room.
The work was carried out in August 2011 but the dangerous blocked flue and risk to the couple was not discovered until November 2012 when they struggled to light the fire.
Mr Stanley – who trades as King Roofing and Durable Plastics – admitted breaking health and safety law. His prison term is suspended for two years.
Accident Advice Helpline can assist people who think they may have a case for compensation.
Date Published: July 16, 2014
Author: David Brown