Judge's gavel

Fake fitter forged registration and left gas escape

An Essex plumber has been given a suspended prison sentence after fitting gas boilers – leaving a gas escape – and forging the details of a genuine registered gas engineer.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that, in November 2016, Josh Pitman, trading as Pitman Plumbing, fitted a new boiler and pipework in a property in Brentwood, Essex, and relocated a boiler and pipework in a second property. He was not registered but forged the signature of a registered gas engineer. Subsequently, a gas escape was found at one of the properties.

The HSE, prosecuting, said Mr Pitman was not competent to work on gas appliances and was not qualified to carry out gas work.

Mr Pitman of Billericay, Essex, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for each offence,  served concurrently and suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation activity. Mr Pitman was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000, and a £630 compensation order.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said: “Mr Pitman showed a clear disregard for the law and put his customers’ lives at risk. He had previously been an apprentice in the gas trade, so it is inconceivable that he did not know of the requirement for Gas Safe registration.”

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