Banned gas-fitter carries out ‘dangerous’ boiler repair for Stoke-on-Trent mum

Retired Jeffrey Lewis installed a boiler in a house after falsely claiming to be a gas safe engineer.

The 74-year-old was banned from performing gas work in 2015 after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated his previous processing.

However, the defendant was instructed by a landlord to carry out work on a boiler at an address in Meir in 2018. He carried out the work and presented a forged Gassafe certificate.

However, the tenant continued to have problems and a legitimate gas safe engineer inspected the boiler. He found it dangerous and described the defendant’s work as appalling.

Now Lewis has been sentenced to 52 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months at the North Staffordshire Justice Center.

Craig Morris, who is prosecuting the HSE, said the defendant was the subject of a 2015 prohibition notice regarding gas works after the HSE investigated some of his identified work. The order forbids him to carry out gas work.

However, the court heard that a woman on Harrowby Road, Meir, had problems with her boiler in 2018, and her landlord ordered the defendant to do the work.

Mr Morris said: “Lewis carried out the work in breach of the Prohibition Notice.

“He issued a UK gas safety certificate. It was a fraudulent document as he was not authorized to issue such a document. He put an incorrect gas safety registration number on the document that was doing the work.

“Then there were problems with the boiler and he had to return the next day because hot water came out of a pipe. There were other problems later in the year.”

An engineer was called and found the boiler to be in a dangerous condition and reported it to the HSE.

Mr Morris said, “He described the work as appalling and like spaghetti junction. Two different pipes were used and one was not suitable for this type of kettle. He considered the kettle to be in a dangerous condition when he found it.

“The defendant broke the original notice, carried out the work when he was not registered with Gas Safe and was falsely registered as Gas Safe by providing a forged certificate.”

Lewis of Ashbourne Road in Cheadle pleaded guilty to two charges of breach of health and safety regulations and breach of a health and safety notice.

Simon Leech said mitigating that the defendant had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other health problems.

“He’s not a good man. He has lived with the knowledge of the sentencing guidelines for the past two and a half years and was extremely concerned about his fate,” he added.

He said the defendant had already paid more than £ 7,500 in costs.

As part of the suspended sentence, Lewis must complete a rehabilitation request for 20 days. a four-month electronically monitored curfew from 7pm to 6am; and an 18-month ban request that prohibits him from doing any gas valve work, performing gas safety tests or issuing gas safety certificates.

District Judge Timothy Boswell said, “Almost three years ago you were doing gas work at an address where a woman with two children lived.

“They installed a gas boiler and reportedly presented a gas safety certificate for that installation.

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“When something went wrong with the boiler, the situation became apparent and a gas safety engineer inspected the boiler. He described it as appalling and said the boiler was dangerous. It is obvious to anyone that a boiler in a dangerous condition is a death hazard and serious harm to the people nearby.

“You deserve to go straight to jail for what you did. However, under the circumstances, I have decided that it is appropriate to stay the sentence. This all happened almost three years ago, there were no problems since you are a very sick man.

“The reality is, you will never work with gas again.”

Lewis was sentenced to pay £ 1,000 in costs and a surcharge of £ 140.

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