A plumber has been told to do 180 hours unpaid community service for illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Milton Keynes.
Darren Queeley, of Starling Walk, Hampton, agreed to install a new gas boiler and pipework at a vacant rental property on Arncliffe, Milton Keynes on 2 January 2013, despite not being registered with Gas Safe.
He completed the work, turned the gas supply on and left the boiler running. However, he did not leave any paperwork regarding registration with the Gas Safe Register – as the law requires.
Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Queeley then informed the householder that he would need to contact another gas fitter to check the boiler, falsely claiming he was Gas Safe-registered only for work in London, and not the Milton Keynes area.
A qualified gas fitter subsequently inspected the work. He discovered that an unsafe connection had left the flue in an unsuitable condition, and identified the boiler as “immediately dangerous”.
The fitter turned the gas supply off and informed the Health and Safety Executive.
Mr Queeley was ordered to perform 180 hours of unpaid community service work over a period of 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,055 after pleading guilty to four breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
After the case, HSE inspector Robert Meardon said: “Darren Queeley has shown a flagrant disregard for the law. He carried out gas work while unregistered, leaving a domestic boiler in a dangerous condition and likely to leak gas.
“People can and do die as a result of gas leaks. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.
“Unless you are on the register, you should not undertake this work. If you are a landlord or homeowner you need to make sure you only use someone who is on the register.
“HSE will not hesitate to take action in cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work, and will always hold offenders to account.”