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Man handed £23,000 fine over ‘dangerous’ gas work

A man who risked lives by carrying out gas work that he was not registered to do has been fined £23,000.

Clive Farrant, trading as Essex Plumbing Connection, used a false CORGI registration number in adverts and paperwork, and committed other offences as a director of Secret Heat Ltd.

The companies were registered to Mr Farrant’s home address in Chelmsford.

Mr Farrant, 57, carried out work in homes around the Chelmsford area between July 2006 and June 2009.

At that time, he instructed another unregistered engineer to perform work at properties in Tadley, Hampshire, and in and around Chelmsford.

He was found by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to have performed gas work at several properties and left them in a dangerous condition.

At Chelmsford Crown Court, Mr Farrant, of Hawthorne Walk, South Woodham Ferrers, pleaded guilty to 10 out of 11 charges relating to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Gas Safety Regulations 1998, and was ordered to pay £5,000 costs on top of the fine.

After the sentencing, HSE inspector Samantha Thomson said: “There is no excuse for illegally carrying out work on gas appliances - and to falsify documentation in order to defraud customers is not only a terrible thing to do but also a very serious offence.

“It is illegal for any unregistered person to carry out such work.

“When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution, a large fine and a lengthy time in prison; they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk.”