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Suspended prison sentences for Torbay brothers’ poor gaswork

An unregistered gas fitter and his brother illegally installed a gas boiler and left it in a dangerous condition, leading to suspended prison sentences for the pair.

Lee Butterworth, 43, who trades as English Riviera Building Company Ltd, contracted his brother Scott Butterworth, aged 41, to carry out the work at a house at Crabtree Close in Plymouth.

The pair were prosecuted at Torquay Magistrates on Friday, 21 August following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Lee Butterworth, of Oxley Close, Torquay, pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

He was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years and also ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid community work and to pay costs of £496.60.

Scott Butterworth of Marine Drive, Paignton, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

He was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years for each offence, to run concurrently, and also ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid community work and to pay costs of £496.60.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Scott Butterworth was not competent or registered to work on gas appliances and this was clearly shown when his work left a gas installation that had a gas leak. It is extremely fortunate that there was not a gas explosion as a result of his work.

“Lee Butterworth was in charge of this work and he should have ensured that anyone undertaking gaswork on his job was properly registered with Gas Safe Register. A simple check on the Gas Safe Register website would have alerted him to the fact that his brother was not registered to do gaswork – but Lee Butterworth did not do this simple check and allowed his brother to undertake illegal gaswork.

“The poor standard of work in this case could have had tragic consequences.”

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