Illegal gas fitter fined over £10,000 after falsely claiming to be Gas Safe registered

Published:  09 December, 2014

An illegal gas fitter and the director of the company that hired him have been fined after dangerous work in six homes in Cornwall put families at risk.

Varcurn Marble Ltd company director Lee Curnow contracted Mark Lawson, an unregistered gas fitter, to install gas fires at six homes in the Camborne, Redruth, Truro and Helston areas between January 2012 and October 2013.

Bodmin Magistrates Court heard that, following reports of fumes from a gas fire at one of the properties, a Gas Safe registered engineer found significant failings in the work carried out by Mr Lawson. Of the six gas fires he installed, five were classed as ‘immediately dangerous’ and another was classed ‘at risk’.  

The subsequent Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Mr Curnow did not make suitable checks to see if Mr Lawson was on the Gas Safe Register. On at least two occasions, Mr Lawson falsely claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register by using the registration name and number of a properly registered gas engineer on commissioning documents.

Mark Lawson, of Barripper, pleaded guilty to three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined a total of £10,666 and ordered to pay £274 in costs.

Lee Curnow, of Portreath, pleaded guilty to a single breach of gas safety regulations and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £274 in costs.

“Mr Lawson put lives at risk by deliberately claiming to be a Gas Safe registered engineer and then carrying out substandard work, which was then classed by a qualified engineer as immediately dangerous,” HSE inspector Simon Jones said.

“Mr Curnow also risked the lives of his customers by failing to check if Mr Lawson was on the Gas Safe Register by asking to see his register membership card, checking the installer page on the register website or calling Gas Safe Register.”