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Gas fitter given suspended sentence for 'putting profit before safety'

A North Cornwall workman has been handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting health and safety breaches in connection with the fitting of a gas boiler, the Cornish Guardian has reported.

The actions of 34-year-old Matthew Congdon, of Westby Road, Bude, had “caused a clear and obvious danger to the householder”, said chairman of the bench Dr Judy Hultgren during a sentencing hearing at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court.

No one was injured as a result of the incident at Ward Close, Stratton, on 17 December last year.

However, Dr Hultgren told Congdon that he had “deliberately and recklessly breached the law and in effect put profit before safety”.

Self-employed at the time, Mr Congdon had previously worked for British Gas and “knew the harm which could be caused”, she said.

Mr Congdon pleaded guilty to: installing a new gas boiler at Ward Close, Stratto, while not being a member of Gas Safe Register; failing to immediately examine the boiler to ascertain that it had been installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and breaching a Prohibition Notice issued on 9September 2014 to stop him falsely claiming to be a register member.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Simon Jones said Congdon had committed the offences two days before he appeared before magistrates on similar charges and knowing that court case was about to take place.

The magistrates imposed a six-month prison sentence on Mr Congdon, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to pay £501 prosecution costs to the HSE, £80 compensation to the householder and an £80 victim surcharge.

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