Boiler with unattached flue

Takeaway owner is served with suspended sentence

A Birmingham takeaway owner has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to wear an electronic tag for failing to maintain the gas boiler at his business.

Mohammed Shafique (59) of Newbridge Road, Birmingham, was found guilty in December 2020 at Birmingham Magistrates’s Court of not maintaining the boiler at Kin’s Crunchy Chicken in Newbridge Road. He was sentenced in January 2021.

A gas engineer carrying out a meter exchange for a utility company reported the boiler installation to Birmingham City Council’s Environmental Health team on 11 September 2018. He had found a large gap where the chimney/flue should have been connected to the boiler, risking the escape of CO, and he immediately disconnected the gas supply.

Mr Shafique was served with Improvement Notices on 2 October 2018, which required him to arrange for a competent person to connect the chimney/flue and service the boiler. The correct chimney/flue was fitted on 26 November 2018.

The council’s investigation found that the boiler had not been serviced for at least three years. Mr Shafique was unable to provide any servicing records, and said he had not tried to find a qualified gas engineer.

Mr Shafique was found guilty of breaches of the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 and Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 as amended. He was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a 12-week curfew. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

Cllr Philip Davis, chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This incident shows what can happen if any business fails to maintain gas appliances in line with health and safety requirements. This could have resulted in serious or life-changing injuries.

“Fortunately, the gas engineer recognised this serious fault before it caused any harm.”

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