Gas fitter fined thousands for leaving residents at risk

Published:  03 April, 2014

An illegal gas fitter and his company have been fined more than £10,000 for a series of gas safety breaches that put residents at risk.

Colin Yeatman, trading as COB Plumbing, carried out substandard work that created a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and potential fire and explosion, Bournemouth Magistrates heard on 2 April.

He fitted a gas boiler, cooker and hot water system at a property in Poole in 2012, as well as a new boiler at a house in Broadstone in 2010, despite being unqualified to carry out work on gas appliances.

Mr Yeatman left the gas installations in a dangerous condition and falsely claimed to be a Gas Safe registered engineer.

His work on the Poole property was investigated by a council building inspector, who found that while Mr Yeatman’s company, COB Plumbing, was identified as the installer, another registered gas engineer’s name had been put on the official documentation. An investigations officer from Gas Safe Register then discovered seven defects with Mr Yeatman’s work, two of which were declared ‘at risk’ of causing death or injury.

In 2013, the householder in Broadstone discovered the boiler fitted by Mr Yeatman was leaking. A registered gas engineer checked the work and again found several defects. An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Yeatman had filled in the official documentation with another company’s details.

Mr Yeatman, of Gort Road, Poole, pleaded guilty to five breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

COB Plumbing Ltd, of High Street, Poole, pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £8,056 in costs.

“Mr Yeatman’s actions were quite deliberate. He was not registered with Gas Safe and he was well aware that this was a prerequisite of being able to undertake gas work legally,” said HSE inspector Mehtaab Hamid. “Nonetheless, he chose to put residents at risk by carrying out sub-standard work at their properties.”

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