Magistrates in Southend have sentenced an Essex plumber to 140 hours of community service after he admitted carrying out gas work despite not being on the Gas Safe Register.
Ryan Ellingford, of Theedoms, Grove Farm Road, Tolleshunt Major, was also ordered to pay £339 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The 30-year-old, who trades as R J Plumbing & Heating, was hired to check the safety of gas devices in a building on Globe Walk that was due to be sold to a new owner.
Illegal gas work carried out
He checked the appliances even though he was not registered with Gas Safe – making the work illegal.
Mr Ellingford then issued landlord gas safety certificates for several devices in the building including a boiler, a cooker and pipework to show that the appliances had been serviced.
But when Gas Safe was later called for an inspection, engineers identified the boiler as “immediately dangerous”.
Mr Ellingford was given a notification of contravention and a prohibition notice which meant he was barred from carrying out any other gas-related work while not registered with Gas Safe.
Plumber ‘put lives at risk’
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and brought the prosecution at Southend Magistrates’ Court.
HSE inspector Corrine Godfrey said after the court case that Mr Ellingford had put residents or neighbours of the property at risk of illness or death through carbon monoxide poisoning.
She explained that the Gas Safe Register had been set up to prevent untrained and incompetent people carrying out gas work.
As Mr Ellingford was not registered, his actions “endangered householders and their neighbours” and could have had fatal consequences, she said.
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Date Published: December 2, 2014
Author: David Brown