illegal gas fitter

Suspended sentence for builder who fitted dangerous gas hob

A self-employed builder has been given a suspended prison sentence after he illegally fitted a hob designed for LPG to a natural gas supply.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard that in March 2018 Christopher Finley, sole director of Centreline Building Services Ltd, quoted for a kitchen re-fit which involved fitting an LPG hob in a property in Cornwall. He undertook the work and fitted the hob but didn’t provide any paperwork.

When Mr Finley’s customer found faults with the hob, she tried to contact him but did not receive a response. A competent and registered gas engineer inspected the work and found it to be of a poor standard, classifying the installation as At Risk.

Mr Finley had failed to change the injectors from those fitted for natural gas to those required for LPG. This resulted in too much gas being supplied at the hob – which could have caused a fire or explosion.

The HSE, investigating, said Mr Finley was not and never had been Gas Safe registered and he should have used a registered gas engineer to undertake the gas work element of the kitchen refit.

Christopher Finley of Crockington Lane, Wolverhampton, was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(1), 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was given a six-month suspended sentence for each breach, and ordered to undertake 160 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered pay costs of £7,505.40.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Finley undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do.”

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