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A self-employed plumber given a suspended prison sentence

A man has been sentenced after carrying out illegal and unsafe gas work and issuing an invalid gas safety certificate.

North Staffordshire Magistrates Court heard that, in April 2018, Pensioner Jeffrey Lewis from Cheadle, incorrectly fitted a new boiler in a domestic property after falsely claiming to be a Gas safe Engineer.

A Health and Safety Executive told the court that he also issued an invalid gas safety certificate to the occupier instead of commissioning documents, and faked a Gas Safe registration number.

The boiler had been connected to an old flue from a different manufacturer, and its spigot had been pushed in and not installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

However six months after the installation, the tenant continued to experience problems and a legitimate Gas Safe engineer inspected the boiler and said the gas supply pipe to the boiler was undersized at 15mm instead of 22mm as required for part of the pipework run. Mr Lewis had not installed the original pipework under the floorboards but it would have been visible when he connected the new boiler and should have been upgraded to the correct size.

The HSE investigation found that Mr Lewis had not undertaken any appropriate training in gas work since the 1970s. Mr Lewis was also in breach of a Prohibition Notice that the HSE had issued to him in 2015 not to carry out gas work until he was competent to do so and had become Gas Safe registered.

Mr Lewis was given a suspended sentence and must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days; a four-month electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 6am; and an 18-month prohibition requirement which prohibits him from any gas fitting work, conducting any gas safety checks or issuing any gas safety certificates. Jeffery Lewis was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £140 surcharge.

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