Banned gas man faces jail

Brian Lloyd, Wakefield Magistrates court
Brian Lloyd, Wakefield Magistrates court

A PLUMBER who defied a gas fitting ban by doing work at a pensioner’s home is facing jail.

Brian Lloyd, 59, was subject to a prohibition notice from doing gas work in Great Britain when he removed and fitted a boiler at an 80-year-old woman’s Ossett home.

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court heard Lloyd, of Dewsbury Road, Ossett, was also halfway through a 17-week suspended jail sentence imposed in 2010 over work, which involved an “immediate risk to life and limb”.

Stephen Grattage, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, said the latest offences happened on Towngate in August 2010.

The boiler was later inspected by an gas safety official who deemed it to be “at risk”.

Mr Grattage said: “This classification denotes, that if operated, in future the boiler may constitute a danger to life or property.”

The court heard the job cost the pensioner £1,600 and included the installation of an electric fire.

But the day after the work was completed both the gas boiler and electric fire failed.

There were also problems with the gas safety certificate and the client later discovered the boiler hadn’t been registered with the manufacturer.

Also a gas pipe he had instructed a registered gas fitter to lay later developed a leak.

And a pipe across a step was also a “trip hazard”.

Lloyd pleaded guilty to two breaches of gas safety regulations and breaching a prohibition notice.

Susanna Proctor, mitigating, said Lloyd had cut a redundant gas pipe and moved the redundant boiler.

He mistakenly believed he wasn’t carrying out gas work and thought he hadn’t contravened the requirements by sub-contracting out work to a registered fitter.

The court heard Lloyd had completed competency courses but was not registered.

Mrs Proctor said the first offences happened during a change over from CORGI to being Gas Safe Registered.

She said Lloyd had made an error and failed to re-register.

District Judge Marie Mallon said the case had crossed “way into the custody threshold”.

Lloyd is expected to be sentenced at Crown Court next month.