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Gas fitter leaves court in drag

The director of a gas fitting company who was prosecuted over unsafe fittings attempted to avoid the glare of local media by leaving court in drag.

Martyn Crute attended Lincoln Crown Court after a case was brought against him and UK Oil and Gas Ltd by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

After being fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £41,000 in costs, Crute donned a long skirt, high heels and a wig in an attempt to leave court undetected.

But a news crew from Anglia TV spotted the disguise and filmed him, with the footage being used during TV news bulletins.

Earlier, the court had heard how Crute and other company employees completed gas fittings and pipework services at a number of homes between February and November 2008, but were not registered with the Council for Registered Gas Installers.

It was also found that the firm, which operated stores called Embers in Horncastle and Sleaford, installed two gas combination boilers unsafely.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Martyn Crute for breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 while UK Oil and Gas Limited of Carre Street, Sleaford were charged with breaching three sections of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Both parties pleaded guilty and were today given fines totalling £8,000.