Scales of justice

Suspended sentence for illegal gas fitter whose work was ID

A gas fitter has been given a suspended sentence after he was found to be working illegally and had carried out dangerous gas work. The contractor that hired him has been fined for not checking that he was registered.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Valentin Pauliuc, trading as VP Plumbing & Heating, was hired in February 2019 by HSM Builders Limited, a principal contractor that was carrying out domestic renovations, to install new gas boiler and gas cooker and other plumbing work.

A Gas Safe Register inspector subsequently found that some of this gas work was Immediately Dangerous. The HSE investigation discovered that Mr Pauliuc was not registered and that HSM Builders did not check that he was registered to do the work.

Valentin Pauliuc of Downing Close, Harrow, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also placed under a curfew and ordered to pay £4,747.68 in costs plus £1,644 in compensation to the owners of the property.

HSM Builders Limited, of Cedar Avenue, Enfield, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £4,859 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gordon Carson, said: “By law, businesses should make reasonable efforts to obtain evidence that any person they intend to perform gas installation work, either under contract or on their own behalf, is a member or employed by a member of Gas Safe Register.”

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