Dodgy gas fitter left boiler ‘at risk of exploding’

Peter Read badly installed this boiler at a home in Lee-on-the-Solent while claiming to be approved by Gas Safe Register. The notes show problems discovered
Peter Read badly installed this boiler at a home in Lee-on-the-Solent while claiming to be approved by Gas Safe Register. The notes show problems discovered
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A BADLY-FITTED boiler left a householder at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or an explosion, a court heard.

Peter Read was trading as AA Plumbing and Heating when he fitted a second-hand boiler at Fell Drive, in Lee-on-the-Solent, in February.

The risk of either carbon monoxide poisoning or explosion, particularly explosion, had the potential to put at risk numerous other people

Recorder Anne Arnold

The 69-year-old has been Corgi-registered previously but that lapsed and he was not licensed by the new Gas Safe Register.

‘This was done at a standard that was dangerous,’ Francesca Lewington told Portsmouth Crown Court.

The court heard Read had used a wood screw and the flue was not lined up to the wall on the boiler he fitted.

HSE inspector Michael Baxter said: ‘When a Gas Safe-registered engineer later visited the property he identified a number of defects, which he categorised as immediately dangerous putting the residents at risk of death or serious injury.’

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he told a resident at another address on December 8 he was Corgi-registered.

Multiple complaints had been received by the Health and Safety Executive about his work in 2010, twice in 2011 and in 2012.

Simon Moger, for Read, said that now another employee does boiler work instead of Read and he had been battling depression and business problems at the time.

Read pleaded guilty to carrying out gas-fitting work without being a member of a class of persons approved by the Health and Safety Executive, and a charge of falsely pretending to be a member of a class of persons required to be approved.

Sentencing, Recorder Anne Arnold said there was risk of death. ‘The risk of either carbon monoxide poisoning or explosion, particularly explosion, had the potential to put at risk numerous other people,’ she said.

Read, of Stubbington Avenue, North End, was handed a 10-month prison term suspended for two years.

He must pay £270 compensation to the victim in Fell Drive and £90 to the other victim.