Lapsed engineer deceived retired couple over dangerous work

A lapsed gas engineer has been given a suspended prison sentence for dangerous gas work.

Exeter Crown Court heard that Scott Lowry, from Modbury in Devon (who previously traded as S J Lowry Plumbing and Heating), fitted a new gas boiler at a property in Ivybridge during September 2017. Just hours after Mr Lowry had completed the installation, the boiler developed faults and the homeowners reported the faults to him.

Mr Lowry attended the address on numerous subsequent occasions but was unable to fix the faults.  A registered gas engineer later inspected the work and found it to be of poor standard and classified it as At Risk. Mr Lowry had left the gas boiler flue that he fitted in a dangerous state that allowed the products of combustion to leak into the property and could have caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Lowry’s Gas Safe registration had expired in April 2017. Mr Lowry had used his former registration number on the commissioning document supplied to the homeowners, knowing that it was no longer valid. He did this to deceive the homeowners into thinking his gas work was legitimate, the court heard.

Scott Lowry pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3), 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for each offence, with each to run concurrently. In addition, he was fined £500 and ordered to pay the homeowners £500 compensation. He was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Lowry undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do. He deliberately deceived a retired couple into thinking he was registered and qualified to undertake gas work at their home.”

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