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Unregistered gas fitter handed suspended jail sentence

A Staffordshire fitter has been handed a suspended prison sentence for illegal gas work that potentially endangered lives.

Glenn Phillip Edkins of Holly Road, Barton-under-Needwood, trading as GPE Plumbing and Heating, carried out faulty gas work while installing a boiler at a home in Barton-under-Needwood between 8 and 22 November 2012. Mr Edkins was not Gas Safe registered as the law requires.

Burton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Edkins left the boiler working and filled in the commissioning paperwork and boiler guarantee, quoting a false Gas Safe registration number.

Soon after, the householders smelled gas in the room where the boiler was and called Mr Edkins back. He identified the location of the leak and fixed it.

It was then the occupants decided to check Mr Edkins with Gas Safe Register and discovered he was not a registered engineer despite having carried out work for them in the past.

A local Gas Safe registered engineer visited, checked the installation and identified several serious defects.

Mr Edkins was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay a victim compensation order of £1,275. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,264 having previously pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said: “Mr Edkins put lives and property in danger by flouting the laws that are designed to protect people from substandard and defective gas work carried out by unregistered fitters.

“HSE would encourage all homeowners and landlords to ensure they only use Gas Safe registered engineers and to check whether an engineer is registered before any work commences.

“Gas safety remains a priority for HSE and we will continue to bring illegal gas fitters to justice when we become aware of those who place lives in danger and show a blatant disregard for the law.”

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