Plumber fined for masquerading as Gas Safe registered

Published:  04 November, 2013

A Milton Keynes plumber has been fined for repeatedly carrying out gas work while unqualified and unregistered, putting householders at risk.

Andrew Barnes, trading as APB Home Services Ltd, was found to have undertaken illegal gas work dating back to 2006, regularly issuing landlord gas safety records for the work he had completed.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found he deliberately and consistently pretended to be officially registered with Gas Safe and its predecessor, CORGI.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard on 1 Nov that Barnes, a plumber for over 30 years, ignored three warning letters from HSE and continued to advertise himself as a competent, registered gas engineer, using the CORGI and Gas Safe logos.

He had never been trained to work with gas and neither he nor his company had ever been on official gas safety registers.

Andrew Barnes, 52, of Wolverton, Milton Keynes was given a three year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £600 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. APB Home Services was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £525 for a single breach of the same Regulations.

HSE inspector Robert Meardon said: “This was not an isolated lapse but a prolonged and deliberate deception that could have put lives at risk across the Milton Keynes area. Barnes was well aware of the risks but chose to ignore them – as he chose to ignore the specific warnings from HSE.