An unregistered gas fitter and his brother have been given a suspended jail sentence after installing a gas boiler and leaving it in a dangerous condition.
Torquay Magistrates’ Court heard that Lee Butterworth, 43, who trades as English Riviera Building Company, contracted his brother Scott Butterworth, 41, to carry out gas work at a house in Plymouth.
Lee Butterworth was carrying out extensive works on the house, which included fitting a new gas boiler. He arranged for his brother, Scott Butterworth, to fit the gas boiler and pipework despite him not being registered.
After Scott had fitted the boiler, the homeowner then used a registered gas engineer to fit a gas cooker. The engineer found a gas escape on the pipework that Scott Butterworth had installed, and classed it as Immediately Dangerous.
Lee Butterworth, of Oxley Close, Torquay, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid community work plus costs of £496.60.
Scott Butterworth of Marine Drive, Paignton, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for each offence, to run concurrently. He was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid community work plus costs of £496.60.
HSE inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said:
“Scott Butterworth was not competent or registered to work on gas appliances and this was clearly shown when his work left a gas installation which had a gas leak. It is extremely fortunate that there was not a gas explosion as a result of Scott Butterworth’s work.
‘Lee Butterworth was in charge of this work and he should have ensured that anyone undertaking gas work on his job was properly registered with Gas Safe Register. A simple check on the Gas Safe Register website would have alerted him to the fact that his brother was not registered to do gas work but Lee Butterworth did not do this simple check but allowed his brother to undertake illegal gas work.
“The poor standard of work in this case could have had tragic consequences for the homeowners.”