Illegal fitter caught red handed by engineer

hseA Harrow-based landlord has been given a suspended jail sentence and fined £10,000 for putting his tenants’ lives in danger by carrying out illegal gas work at the flats he rented.

Vispasp Sarkari, who rented out five flats in a block on London Road in Wembley, was charged with a serious safety breach after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Southwark Crown Court heard that Mr Sakari was caught ‘red-handed’ on August 13, 2013, carrying out work on a boiler by a visiting National Grid engineer. It followed a complaint that the landlord was working on gas fittings in a flat that was home to a family with children.

The HSE found evidence that Mr Sarkari had carried out illegal gas work at the block of flats on a number of occasions, despite the fact he was not Gas Safe registered. On the day of the visit by the National Grid, Mr Sarkari was working with another person and there was no evidence he was registered with Gas Safe.

The court was told that it was only by being registered with the accreditation body Gas Safe that an individual or firm was legally entitled to undertake any work on gas fittings.

Mr Sarkari was sentenced to 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years, 150 hours’ unpaid community work and fined £10,000, as well as being ordered to pay £9,978 in costs after admitting breaching the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.

HSE inspector, Lisa Chappell, said:

“The potential consequences arising from using unregistered and possibly incompetent gas fitters are significant and well-known. They include serious injury from fire, explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning.

“The regulations relevant to who should carry out work on gas appliances are unambiguous.

“As someone carrying out unregistered gas work, and allowing another person to undertake similar illegal work in his properties, Mr Sarkari put a number of the tenants, their families and friends, at serious risk of harm.”

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