Illegal Gloucestershire gasman lied about credentials

A Gloucestershire man has been prosecuted for carrying out remedial gas work at a restaurant in Cheltenham while falsely claiming to be registered with Gas Safe Register.

Timothy Smith from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, inspected and tested gas pipework and appliances and issued the owner of the Raja Balti restaurant in North Street, Winchcombe, with a gas safety inspection report and certificate.

However, during the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Gloucestershire Magistrates’ Court heard he was not suitably qualified to undertake the work he carried out at the restaurant between 25 October and 2 November 2010.

After the work was complete, enquiries were made with Gas Safe Register, and it was discovered Mr Smith had falsified his documentation to include the number of a registered business with a similar trading name and also used the ID card number of a registered engineer with the same surname.

The court was told Mr Smith did not hold the correct competencies to carry out the work, was not registered with Gas Safe, and purposefully went out of his way to make it appear as if he was a registered engineer.

Speaking after the hearing, health and safety inspector Mehtaab Hamid said:

“It is imperative that those who carry out inspections of gas appliances are properly registered with Gas Safe, as this is the only way to ensure they hold the necessary qualifications.

“The consequences of incorrectly fitted appliances and dangerous pipework can and does lead to loss of life and damage to property. In this instance Mr Smith falsely pretended to be registered and aimed to deceive his customer, which highlights the need for people to ensure that they check the gas engineer’s details against the register.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Only a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer should work on your gas appliances. Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card and consumers should ask to see the card. Check it to see that it is valid, up to date and that the engineer is qualified to do the particular job at hand. You can also check an engineer by calling us on 0800 408 5500.”

Timothy Charles Smith of Queen’s Road, Tewkesbury, was charged with contravening 3 (3) and 3 (7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He pleaded guilty and was given a 22 week curfew order and ordered to pay costs of £450.