Pensioner jailed for illegal gas work

Published:  16 September, 2015

A 70-year-old man has been jailed for 26 weeks and his grandson fined thousands of pounds for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work in Doncaster.

Michael Atkinson installed a new boiler at a house in Fairfield Court, under the direction of his grandfather, Graham Atkinson, Doncaster magistrates heard on 11 September.

Graham Atkinson’s registration with Gas Safe had expired and Michael’s own registration was only applicable to work he carried out for his employer.

The Health & Safety Executive investigated and found that the work, carried out in October 2012, was dangerous as a flue had been fitted incorrectly.

HSE also discovered that Graham Atkinson, 70, had carried out dangerous work on two other flats in the town.

Prosecuted by HSE, Graham Atkinson, of Bentley, pleaded guilty to three offences and not guilty to two others. After a trial in June, he was found guilty on both counts. On 11 September, he was jailed for a total of 26 weeks and must pay £3,000 towards HSE prosecution costs, as well as an £80 victim surcharge.

Michael Atkinson, 29, of Bessacarr, pleaded guilty in April to two offences under Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations. At a hearing in July, he was fined a total of £5,000 and must pay £1,190 towards HSE prosecution costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

HSE inspector Mark Welsh said: “Graham Atkinson should not have been carrying out or overseeing any gas work and should have been well aware of this fact. He displayed a deliberate and reckless disregard for the law, putting owners and tenants of three properties at risk.

“He deceived those involved into thinking that work was being carried out by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer and he carried out defective work that could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or even killed.

“Michael Atkinson should not have been carrying out gas work in his own name and should have been well aware of this fact. This case should be a reminder that HSE will take action when the law is flouted.”

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