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Plumber found guilty of ignoring safety warnings

The Health & Safety Executive has prosecuted a self-employed plumber after he ignored earlier warnings about gas fitting without proper qualification.

James Tennyson, 55, of Rutland Crescent, Luton, had been warned by the HSE in 2003 and recently admitted breaching health and safety laws when he appeared at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court.

He had been reported to the HSE by legitimate gas engineers who found gas boilers in dangerous conditions at homes in ­Polegate, Luton and Houghton Regis.

Magistrates ordered Mr Tennyson to complete 180 hours of community service and to pay £250 costs.

He had already received a formal notice prohibiting him from continuing with gas work until competent enough to do so.

HSE inspector Stephen Manley said: “When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine; they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk, as Mr Tennyson did here.

“Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it.

“HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”

Mr Tennyson admitted two breaches of Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 and one breach of Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.