South Devon plumber left illegal gas work in a dangerous state

An unregistered gas fitter has been sentenced for illegally installing a gas boiler and undertaking landlord’s gas safety checks at a tenanted property. The boiler he installed was later classed as dangerous.

Christian Winter, 35, trading as CJS Winter Plumbing & Heating Services of Ashburton, Devon installed the gas boiler at a property on Park Road, Kingskerswell. He then undertook landlord’s gas safety checks at the tenanted property despite him having no competencies in gaswork or being registered with Gas Safe Register for any gaswork.

Further he then deceived the landlord of the property by using a fictitious Gas Safe Register registration number on the landlord’s gas safety records he produced.

Exeter Crown Court heard Mr Winter’s illegal gaswork came to light when the boiler he had installed and which he then passed as safe over the next three years was inspected by a properly registered member of Gas Safe. The gas engineer found a number of faults on the gas installation and classed the gaswork as dangerous.

On investigation the Health and safety Executive (HSE) found Christian Winter had used fraudulent Gas Safe registered details to deceive the landlord. When the landlord was informed of the defects she challenged Christian Winter but he continued to lie to her by stating that he was a registered gas engineer.

Mr Winter, Westabrook, Ashburton, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was given a suspended prison sentence of 12 months; ordered to undertake 200 hours unpaid work and to pay £3,327.80 costs.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said: “Only engineers registered with Gas Safe can legally carry out gas work and it is fortunate no-one was harmed as a result of Mr Winter’s illegal and dangerous gaswork.

“He compounded his illegal work by fraudulently using false Gas Safe Register details on his paperwork and then lied to a landlord when he was challenged about this in a clear attempt to deceive the landlord and tenant.

“The landlord relied on the honesty of Mr Winter but by deceiving her he put the lives of her tenants at risk for his own financial gain.”

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