Plumber receives 22 month suspended sentence for illegal gas work

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An unregistered plumbing and heating contractor has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work that put a number of homes at risk.

Truro Crown Court heard that, from January 2017 to October 2018, Darren Masters, trading as D Masters Plumbing and Heating Limited, carried out gas work at four homes in Newquay, Cornwall, despite not being registered as a Gas Safe engineer.

Registration with Gas Safe Register ensures engineers are qualified for the work they intend to carry out, ensuring that gas work is carried out to an appropriate standard and the public are not put at risk of serious harm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Masters falsely asserted he was Gas Safe Registered in the course of dealing with customers, including signing off documentation with false Gas Safe registered engineer numbers. The investigation concluded Mr Masters also misrepresented himself as sufficiently competent to carry out the services.

Darren Masters of Hannaford Close, St Columb Major, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(1), 3(3), 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and consequently Section 33 (1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Masters was sentenced to 22 and a half months in prison, suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £11,902.00 in compensation and full costs of £9,068.50.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Mannell said: “Darren Masters was in control of gas work despite not being Gas Safe registered. Shockingly, he misled residents about his credentials.

“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.”