‘Unsafe’ boiler led to gas explosion at Wrentham house

A gas fitter has been given an eight month suspended prison sentence after his “unsafe work” led to a blast that destroyed the roof of a house.

A mother and daughter suffered burns in the blast, which happened two days after James Hampson fitted a boiler at their home in Wrentham, Suffolk.

He admitted two counts of contravening health and safety regulations at Ipswich Crown Court.

Hampson, of Knowland Grove in Norwich, will have to pay £10,000 in costs.

He was also ordered to undertake 250 hours’ community service.

The roof of the house on Chapel Road was blown off in the explosion on 24 December 2010.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the joint between the emergency control valve on the boiler and a pipe was not properly tightened and as a result was leaking gas.

It was ignited when homeowner Lynne Brown switched on the kettle.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Malcolm Crowther said: “Mr Hampson’s unsafe work cost a mother and daughter their health and their home.

“It could have cost them their lives.”