Plumber jailed for removing boiler and replacing

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A Staffordshire plumber has been jailed after gas work he performed at a domestic premise was left in a dangerous condition.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how, in September 2016, Colin Christopher Batchelor carried out gas work that included removing an old boiler, installing a new boiler, reinstalling a gas meter and connecting pipework whilst unregistered.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Colin Christopher Batchelor had performed gas work whilst falsely claiming to be a member of Gas Safe. He was not competent to carry out work in relation to gas fittings, he did not have any relevant qualifications and he failed to carry out any test or examination to verify that the installation was gas tight following his work. This resulted in the work not being performed in a manner which would prevent danger to people.

Colin Christopher Batchelor of Tean, Stoke-on-Trent pleaded guilty to five breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to eight months immediate imprisonment for each offence, to be served concurrently.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Dr Riley Roberts commented:

“The Gas Safe Register (www.gassaferegister.co.uk ) exists to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to a loss of life.”

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Further information about gas safety can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas