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Plumber receives suspended prison sentence

A North Devon plumber who fraudulently claimed to be a registered gas fitter has received a suspended prison sentence and tagging order.

Mr Ben Laverty, of Kipling Terrace, Westward Ho!, received a four-week prison sentence, suspended to 12 months, after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Mr Laverty failed to check gas appliances he had been asked to test and produced false certificates declaring them safe at four properties in Barnstaple, a court heard on 7 November 2012.

He appeared before Barnstaple Magistrates charged with two breaches of safety law after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated his activity.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Any business or sole trader who carries out work on any gas appliance without being properly trained and registered is breaking the law and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute.”

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