Unregistered Torbay gas fitter receives suspended prison sentence for fraudulent claims and endangering life

A Brixham gas fitter has appeared in court for carrying out unsafe work on boilers and illegally issuing landlord gas safety check records in Torbay while claiming to be registered.

Steven Nurse was found to have produced 10 gas safety certificates using the name and Gas Safe Register and CORGI identification numbers belonging to a legitimate registered gas engineer.

In a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Exeter Crown Court heard that Nurse had also installed two boilers, signed-off work on another two and had serviced gas boilers all while falsely claiming to be a member of the Register and its predecessor, CORGI.

The HSE began investigations after Gas Safe Register received complaints about Nurse’s work.

He was found to have installed a gas boiler to undersized pipework and failed to seal the boiler flue correctly endangering the lives of people inside the domestic property in Brixham with escaping poisonous gas fumes.

Nurse pleaded guilty to breaching 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was given a two month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Nurse also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) and 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs. He was also ordered to pay total of £1,000 compensation to property owners.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, said:

“Nurse’s shoddy work on the boiler could have killed someone.

“This incident shows how important it is for gas fitters to become properly trained and registered gas engineers.

“All gas engineers must be members of the Gas Safe Register by law so customers can be sure they are dealing with someone who is properly trained and qualified to do the job.

“Unregistered installers who carry out gas work could expose people to unacceptable risks that can prove fatal. Any business or sole trader who carries out work on any gas appliance without being properly trained and registered is breaking the law and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute.”

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

“Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries an ID card which not only proves who they are but also gives details of the kind of work they are qualified to carry out. We always encourage the public to ask to see an engineer’s ID card and to call us on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website to check the details. A registered engineer will never mind being asked and it helps us all to make life more difficult for the illegal gas fitters.