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Bedfordshire builder jailed for illegal gas work

A builder has been handed a 12-month jail sentence after illegally carrying out sub-standard gas work at a pensioner's home in Bedfordshire.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified serious safety failings by Patrick Regan.

On 9 August, Luton Crown Court heard that between 21 January and 30 June 2010, Mr Regan had carried out internal building work, including gas work and other building works affecting gas appliances, at a 65 year-old woman's house in Dunstable, despite not being registered with Gas Safe.

Mr Regan was found guilty of single breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. In addition to his jail sentence he was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.

During the building work he removed a chimney breast in the lounge but left the still connected and unstable gas fire flue liner lying across the floor and routed into a floor void.

The gas meter had also been disturbed when the wall it was fixed to was removed, which caused a gas leak; and gas fitting work in the kitchen included the installation of a five-metre length of gas supply pipework running directly across a doorway with only one clip supporting it.

The house was left with appliances in an 'immediately dangerous' condition, but they weren't disconnected until 5 October (2012) when a legitimate Gas Safe registered engineer visited the property. This was more than three months after Mr Regan had finished his work.

The householder was left with an estimated repair bill for heating and plumbing in the region of £5,000.

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12 August 2013


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