A Suffolk plumber has been given a suspended prison sentence after carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Lowestoft.

Barry Goodge, 59, from Oulton Broad, attempted to repair a faulty boiler at a home on London Road South on 28 June 2013, despite not being registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement in the UK.

He did not complete the work, claiming a necessary replacement part was unobtainable, and left the boiler without a key component.

Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court heard today (19 February) that the householder then contacted a registered gas fitter, who discovered a gas pipe had not been capped off. He immediately made this pipe safe, and sourced the correct replacement part to repair the boiler.

The fitter then contacted Gas Safe Register which informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Barry Goodge, of Gorleston Road in Oulton Broad, was given a 36 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay costs of £599 and £80 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Ivan Brooke said:

“Barry Goodge has shown a complete disregard for the law. He carried out gas work whilst unregistered, leaving a domestic boiler in a dangerous condition and likely to leak gas.

“People can die as a result of gas leaks. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.

“HSE will not hesitate to take action in cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work, and will always hold offenders to account.”

Russell Kramer chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added:

“Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on.

“We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card and if they have any concerns about the safety of work carried out in their home, to speak to us. Every year we investigate thousands of reports of illegal gas work. Call us on 0800 408 5500 or visit our website at www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Further information about gas safety can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/gas