Plumber who left house at risk of 'lethal' explosion gets suspended sentence

Published:  27 July, 2012

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is urging people who had work carried out by Staffordshire plumber Mark Austin to contact them, after he received a suspended sentence for leaving a house at risk of a 'lethal' explosion.

Austin, who posed as a registered gas fitter, was given a 12-month prison sentence on Tuesday 24 July, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £1,000 costs by Cannock Magistrates Court.

Trading under APS, he issued landlord's gas safety records with a Gas Safe Register identification, despite not being registered and breached a legal notice which prohibited him from carrying out gas work.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges of carrying out gas work while not appropriately registered, two of falsely claiming to be appropriately registered and another charge of installing an appliance that was inherently dangerous.

HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Mark Austin deceived three landlords, pretending to be Gas Safe-registered by putting false details on the gas safety records he illegally issued. In addition he carried out potentially lethal work in one of their properties.

"Poorly maintained, faulty or badly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal and can also cause serious long-term health problems.

"Mark Austin showed complete disregard for the safety of people who could have been affected by his deception. Anyone who has had gas work done by him should get it checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer.”

Two more people have come forward since Austin's first court appearance in May.