Terry Arnold, a 49 year old gas fitter from Thetford has been given a suspended prison sentence for carrying out repeated illegal and dangerous gas work at homes and businesses in Norfolk. Despite being suspended from the Gas Safe Register, he continued to work on gas appliances in clear breach of an enforced notice.
After food safety inspectors visited a Chinese take-away in Swaffham in April 2012, his failings came to light as appliances were classed as ‘immediately dangerous’ by the Gas Safe inspector. Norwich Crown Court heard that Mr Arnold had issued the restaurant with a certificate for his work but his accreditation was invalid because he had been suspended from gas works in May 2010 for failing to have his work inspected in accordance with the terms of his registration.
The food inspectors noted concerns about the standard of cooking appliances and Gas Safe informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who served a Prohibition Notice preventing him from undertaking further gas work while an investigation happened.
Despite this, he flouted the Prohibition Notice and an investigation found he continued to carry out illegal gas work at other addresses in Swaffham and Kings Lynn during 2012 and 2013. This is despite his written undertaking that he wouldn’t do any such work.
Further breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations 1988 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 have been left on file. Terry Arnold has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment and suspension for one year after he pleaded guilty for breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations and the Health and Safety at work. The judge commented on the suspended sentence and said it was only because of Mr Arnold’s medical condition – he is receiving treatment for renal cancer – that prevented an immediate prison sentence.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Anthony Brookes said “Terry Arnold is a prolific offender who has continued to carry out gas work without being registered over a number of years. He was well aware of the registration requirements; and by continuing to carry out gas work and providing Gas Safety certificates pretending to be registered over this time; had deliberately chosen to continue working in flagrant disregard for the law.”
To safe guard people, Russell Kramer chief executive Gas Safe Register added “Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on. We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card”.
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