Illegal gas fitter tricked Rochdale couple

A Rochdale man has been fined after he tricked a married couple into believing he was legally qualified to install a new gas boiler, a court has heard.

Malcolm Riley was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (12 April 2013) after he charged the owners of a house on Ings Lane in Rochdale £1,700 to fit a boiler in May last year, despite not being a registered gas fitter.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the couple contacted Mr Riley, believing he was a registered gas engineer, to inspect the boiler after they became concerned about the noise it was making. He identified several issues with the way it had been installed, including problems with the boiler’s flue.

An investigation by HSE and Gas Safe Register – the official gas registration body in the UK – found Mr Riley had forged a signature and provided false details on the Gas Safety Inspection Report he completed after finishing the installation.

He used the details of a registered gas engineer who had carried out annual gas safety checks at his home, on Albert Royds Street in Rochdale, to give the impression that the work had been done by a member of the Gas Safe Register.

Malcolm Riley pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 by illegally installing a gas boiler and pretending to be registered to carry out the work.

Mr Riley received a community penalty requiring him to remain at home between 9pm and 7am every day for three months, and will have a tag fitted. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Norton said:

“Malcolm Riley knew the gas fittings at his home were safe as they had been checked by a registered engineer, but he put the lives of a married couple at risk by illegally fitting a boiler at their home.

“Gas work has the potential to cost lives if it is not carried out properly. That’s why it’s a legal requirement for gas fitters to be members of the Gas Safe Register.

“Mr Riley used fake documents to give the impression he was qualified to fit the boiler but in fact it was only luck that no one was harmed as a result of his work.”

Homeowners and landlords can find a registered gas engineer, or check someone is registered, by visiting link to external website.