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Essex plumber may face prison

An Essex plumber has received a 12-month suspended prison sentence and 180 hours of unpaid community service after his firm fitted a dangerous boiler.

A joint investigation by Gas Safe and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) resulted in Lee Lawrence, trading as Amber Plumbing Solutions, being taken to court and charged with three breaches of gas safety regulations.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard that an inspection by a Gas Safe regional investigations officer found seven defects directly attributable to the work organised by Mr Lawrence and undertaken by Amber Plumbing Solutions.

The HSE found that the advertising flyers produced by Mr Lawrence for Amber Plumbing Solutions displayed the Gas Safe logo and their website falsely stated that Amber Plumbing Solutions was a Gas Safe-registered company.

Mr Lawrence was found guilty of two breaches of Regulation 3 (7) of the Gas Safe (Installation & use Regulations) 1998 and a breach of Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety regulations.

Mr Lawrence, t/a Amber Plumbing Solutions, of Church Road, Clacton on Sea was ordered to pay £5,400 in compensation to the householder and £2,385 costs in addition to his suspended prison sentence and hours of unpaid community service.

HSE inspector Edward Crick said: “Mr Lawrence showed a blatant disregard for the safety of his customers.

“A registered gas engineer had no hesitation in labelling the boiler as an immediate danger to life or property.

“Installing it in what was to be a children’s bedroom was reckless beyond belief and could have had tragic consequences.”

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