Unregistered gas fitter receives suspended prison sentence for fraudulent claims and endangering life

Published:  11 February, 2013

A Brixham gas fitter has appeared in court for carrying out unsafe work on boilers and illegally issuing landlord gas safety check records in Torbay.

Steven Nurse was found to have produced 10 gas safety certificates, claiming to be Gas Safe Registered and providing Corgi identification numbers belonging to a legitimate registered gas engineer.

Exeter Crown Court heard that Nurse had installed two boilers, signed-off work on another two and also serviced gas boilers, all while falsely claiming to be a member of the Register.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) began investigations after Gas Safe Register received complaints about Nurse’s work.

He was found to have installed a gas boiler to undersized pipework and failed to seal the boiler flue correctly endangering the lives of people inside the domestic property in Brixham with escaping poisonous gas fumes.

Nurse pleaded guilty to three breaches of Gas Safety Regulations, was given a two month suspended prison sentence, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs. He was also ordered to pay total of £1,000 compensation to property owners.

HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, said: "Nurse’s shoddy work on the boiler could have killed someone. This incident shows how important it is for gas fitters to become properly trained and registered gas engineers.

"All gas engineers must be members of the Gas Safe Register by law so customers can be sure they are dealing with someone who is properly trained and qualified to do the job. Unregistered installers who carry out gas work could expose people to unacceptable risks that can prove fatal.

“Any business or sole trader who carries out work on any gas appliance without being properly trained and registered is breaking the law and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute."