Builder undertakes gas work given community service and fined £6000

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A builder has been sentenced to 250 hours of community service for putting a home owner at risk following renovations to their house in Cardiff.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Brian James was hired to carry out renovations to a bungalow in Cardiff specifically to install new plumbing and heating, including a boiler.

Brian James admitted in court that although he did not carry out the work himself he employed a man he had never met before to carry out the work. He did not check that he was sufficiently competent, qualified or a Gas Safe registered engineer. He took his details from a board at a DIY store and could not provide further details to the Health and Safety Executive, who investigated the incident. The boiler had not been fitted with a thermostat and was not commissioned by a registered engineer.

HSE inspector Simon Breen said: “It is essential for public safety that gas appliances are only fitted competent, qualified and registered engineers. Anyone who is carrying out renovations to properties need to make sure they properly check anyone they bring in to carry out gas work so people’s lives are not put at risk.”

Brian James, Llandudno Road, Rumney, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, He was sentenced to 32 week prison sentence, suspended for two years, 250 hours community service, fined £636 and ordered to pay costs of £5,344.29.

For more information about gas safety visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/