‘Gas man’ jailed for sub-standard work

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A heating fitter has been jailed for nine months for illegally carrying out sub-standard work when installing a gas boiler.

The boiler, fitted at a property in Armourer Drive, Milton Keynes, was dangerously defective because it was not properly connected to a flue.

There was also a risk carbon monoxide fumes would seep back into the home, with potentially devastating consequences.

Chris Johnson, of Oxley Park, was jailed for nine, eight and six months to run concurrently after pleading guilty to a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. There were also three breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations 1998. He was ordered to pay £2,480 compensation.

Amersham Crown Court heard concerns were raised about the quality of Mr Johnson’s work when the householder returned home to find the boiler was not working.

Gas Safe and HSE inspectors subsequently visited the property on July 20, 2012, and identified a fault with the flue connection, classing the boiler as unsafe.

An investigation later found Johnson wasn’t Gas Safe registered and worked illegally and unsafely.

After the hearing HSE inspector Graham Tompkins said: “Chris Johnson installed a gas boiler and gas pipework knowing he was not competent or legally allowed to do so.

“People die from carbon monoxide poisoning because gas appliances and flues have not been properly installed, maintained or because they are poorly ventilated. Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can also cause gas leaks, fires and explosions.”