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Jail for dangerous gas fitter who used fake IDs

A fake gas fitter whose dangerous work put lives at risk in the North-east of England has been sent to prison for three years.

Dean Blues from County Durham advertised his services on various social media sites from September 2016 to December 2017, using false names, several telephone numbers and at least three bank accounts to evade detection, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

HSE, prosecuting, said his poor and illegal workmanship had put lives at risk in seven homes, exposing residents to the risk of carbon monoxide, asphyxiation, fire and explosion. The homes, in Houghton le Spring, Washington, Blaydon on Tyne, South Shields, Hebburn, Spennymoor and Middlesbrough, contained a catalogue of problems.

In one home, the pipework sleeve from the gas meter box was not appropriately correctly, the flue assembly had not been internally or externally sealed to the structure of the building, the appliance’s combustion chamber was missing a retaining screw and another was partially tightened, which meant that a proper seal was not formed.

In another, there was a gas escape and its flue that fell apart when poked, and several other homes had experienced gas escapes and contained gas work that was Immediately Dangerous.

Mr Blues had never been Gas Safe registered and was not competent to work on gas. HSE had been investigating him in Scotland previously.

Dean Mulholland Blues of Annand Way, Newton Aycliffe pleaded guilty to 24 breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to three years in prison and was disqualified from being the director of a company for 12 years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jonathan Wills said: “If anyone has had any gas work carried out by Mr Blues, I urge them to ensure that the work is now checked by a registered Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible.”

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