Rogue gas man escapes jail term

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

A BANNED gas fitter who put lives at risk has escaped a jail sentence.

Brian Lloyd, who was exposed on the Rogue Traders TV programme back in 2009, was this week sentenced to 250 hours community service and ordered to pay £500 costs for flouting gas safety rules.

The story began three years ago when Lloyd, 59, of Dewsbury Road, Ossett, was shamed on national TV.

At the time the self-employed plumber was under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who subsequently prosecuted him in February 2010.

He was fined and handed a 17-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

But just six months later Lloyd removed an old boiler and gas fire from a house in Towngate, Ossett, and installed a combination boiler. Not only was the work carried out during his suspended sentence but also it flouted a HSE prohibition notice preventing him from doing gas work.

Leeds Crown Court heard the offence came to light after the boiler Lloyd installed didn’t work. A Gas Safe engineer later classified it as being ‘at risk’.

At an earlier hearing Lloyd admitted two offences against the Gas Safety Regulations and one of breaching a prohibition notice.

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

And he was warned his case had passed “way into the custody threshold”.

After the case HSE inspector Andy Denison, who investigated both Lloyd’s previous and current offences, said: “This is one of the worst cases I have come across involving a repeat offender and unsafe gas work. His previous conviction for a number of offences and his naming and shaming on a TV programme, have done nothing to deter him from trying to turn a profit at the expense of people’s safety.

“I cannot emphasise enough that all gas work should only be carried out by Gas Safe registered engineers, who have the training, qualifications and competence needed.”

Anyone with any worries about gas work should Gas Safe Register on 0800 4085500 and request a free inspection.