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Unsafe builder jailed over gas work

A Bradford builder has been jailed for four months after illegally attempting to install gas and electric in a botched extension project.

John Howe, trading as J Howe Plumbing and Construction, installed a gas boiler and hob in a granny flat, despite not being a Gas Safe engineer.

Tests by the Health and Safety Executive found that the gas work was unsafe and the boiler could have been a danger to life or property if operated. An electrical test also found Howe’s work posed an unacceptable risk of injury or death, Bradford Magistrates’ Court head.

Howe had been paid £28,000 to build the flat at the back of a house in Crestwood Close, Bradford, belonging to Mr Khalid Rehman. He started work in May 2009 but by June 2010 the work was still not complete and he had failed to turn up on site.

The complainant called in another builder, who advised him power connections in the flat may be dangerous. He then asked Bradford Council’s Building Control to investigate and the HSE were notified.

The HSE served a prohibition notice on Howe reventing him from carrying out any domestic gas work until he becomes competent and Gas Safe registered.

Howe pleaded guilty to five breaches of health and safety legislation and gas safety regulations.