Kitchen fitter prosecuted for endangering homeowners’ lives

hseA Tyneside man has been sentenced for putting the lives of homeowners at risk after deceiving a local kitchen fitting company by claiming he was Gas Safe registered.

Neil Scott, a self-employed kitchen fitter, was contracted by the company to carry out work at three properties in Newcastle where kitchens were being refurbished between September 1 and December 31, 2012.

The work involved installing gas appliances, including gas hobs and, in one case, a central heating boiler.

The kitchen fitting company later contacted Gas Safe to check the work and a Gas Safe regional investigations officer switched off the boiler when it was found to have faults that could have endangered life or property if operated.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and Mr Scott was prosecuted at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for multiple gas safety breaches.

The court was told that it is a legal requirement that any work carried out on gas appliances must only be done by a Gas Safe engineer. When asked by the kitchen company, Mr Scott had fraudulently claimed he was Gas Safe registered. However, Mr Scott had never been Gas Safe registered and was not sufficiently competent to carry out the work.

Mr Scott was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs after pleading guilty to six breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 – three each of Regulation 3(3) and Regulation 3(7).

HSE inspector, Jonathan Wills, said:

“Mr Scott displayed a deliberate and reckless approach to the law by putting the owners of these three properties at risk with a view to profiting financially.

“Having deceived those involved into thinking he was Gas Safe registered he carried out work which in one instance could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or even killed.

“This case should act as a reminder that HSE will prosecute those who flout the law in such a way, putting the lives of members of the public in danger.”

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