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Retired engineer refutes danger claims

While apologising for breaching gas safety regulations, a retired gas engineer has denied claims that any of his work was dangerous, according to The Daily Gazette.

Derek John Ringe, 64, of Stanela, Old School Lane, Elmstead, Colchester, serviced and repaired a domestic boiler at a property in Colchester while not being recorded on Gas Safe Register on two separate occasions in July 2013 and July 2014.

Appearing before Colchester Magistrates’ Court, he admitted breaching gas safety regulations and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,196 costs at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Ringe said: “What I did was illegal and I should not have done it. I should have said I am not able to do the work anymore.

“I started with British Gas when I was 15 and I am almost 65. I have worked on thousands of boilers.

“It would have shown up and I would not have had a career if I did not known what I was doing.”

He added that he had installed the boiler in question seven years ago and had continued to service it.

In 2013, however, he decided not to renew his Gas Safe registration.

The homeowner alerted the authorities because of concerns over the work, according to the The Gazette article, which Mr Ringe claimed was down to confusion over a vacuum cleaner.

Mr Ringe also denied claims the boiler was “immediately dangerous” or had high levels of carbon monoxide and a flue not connected to the boiler.

He said: “The boiler would not start if that was the case. It would not have worked for the past seven years.

“I should not have worked and I admit that, but it was not dangerous,” said Mr Ringe.

Mr Ringe has now retired fully.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said not only was it illegal for him to work, but by not registering he avoided the necessary safety checks.