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Unregistered gas fitter sentenced

A Wrexham-based gas fitter has been sentenced after installing and illegally servicing equipment.

The installation could have resulted in harm to the tenants and landlord of a Wrexham property.

Wrexham Magistrates’ Court today sentenced Mr Neil Lloyd to a 12-month community order that includes 150 hours of unpaid work, in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). He was also ordered to pay costs of £500.

The court heard Mr Lloyd installed a boiler and flue at a home in Holly Grove, Wrexham, in January 2006, and serviced the boiler until September 2010.

Problems with the installation came to light in October 2010 when part of the heating system broke down and the house owner called a different gas engineer to repair it.

The new engineer, who, unlike Mr Lloyd, did work for a Gas Safe registered company, immediately spotted that the flue was not sealed properly so if there had been a problem with the boiler then poisonous carbon monoxide gas could have come back into the house.

Repairs were carried out immediately and the homeowner reported the problems to the Gas Safe Register and HSE.

An HSE investigation found that Mr Lloyd had not been registered during the time of servicing the equipment, and the flue that he had installed was not in a proper condition for the boiler to be operated safely.

Neil Lloyd, of Chestnut Close, Gresford, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3), 3(7) and 27(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

In relation to breach of Regulations 3(3) and 3(7) he was given a 12-month community order and there was no penalty for the breach of Regulation 27(1). He was also ordered to pay £500 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Debbie John said: “Every year around 20 people die and many others suffer ill health as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained.

“Mr Lloyd was fully aware of the legal requirement for gas fitting work to only be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer, yet he inspected the gas installation and declared it was satisfactory.

“This case should serve as a lesson to anyone tempted to undertake gas work when not registered. Householders should be extra vigilant in checking that any gas work is carried out only by Gas Safe registered engineers.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Gas work in your home should only be carried out by suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.

“Every Gas Safe engineer carries an ID card which not only confirms they are registered but also details which kinds of appliances they can work on.

“Always ask to see the card and remember you can always call us on 0800 408 5500 to check if an engineer is registered.”