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Wed May 22 2024

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Rogue trader back in the dock

31 May 12 A convicted plumber who left a series of householders at risk from his illegal gas work was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday for putting more lives in danger.

Brian Lloyd from Ossett, near Wakefield, was exposed for carrying out illegal gas work by the TV programme ‘Rogue Traders’ back in 2009.

At the time the 59 year-old self-employed plumber was under investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which subsequently prosecuted him in February 2010. He was fined and handed a 17-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

However, just six months later in August 2010, Mr Lloyd removed an old boiler and gas fire from a house in Towngate, Ossett, and installed a combination boiler. Not only was this an offence under his suspended sentence but it also contravened a prohibition notice issued by HSE to stop him doing any gas work until he became a registered Gas Safe engineer.

The court heard that the offence came to light after the boiler that Mr LLoyd installed didn’t work. The householder had asked for a Gas Safe certificate and boiler warranty but neither had been provided. After several weeks, the householder contacted the boiler manufacturer and found that the appliance had not been registered. They then contacted Gas Safe who arranged for an inspection.

A Gas Safe engineer immediately realised it was a botched job, classified the boiler as ‘at risk’ and gave the householder a list of faults that needed to be rectified before it was safe to use.

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The court sentenced Brian Lloyd, of Dewsbury Road, Ossett, to 250 hours community service and ordered him to pay £500 toward costs.

HSE inspector Andy Denison, who investigated both Mr 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. HSE will take robust action against those who flout the regulations and those who are in breach of enforcement notices."

Gas Safe Register chief executive Paul Johnston said: "Consumers should always check that an engineer is qualified to carry out gas work. Ask to see an up to date ID card and call us to check if you have any doubt. It is also important to check the back of the card to ensure that they are qualified to work on that type of appliance. If you have any doubts about the gas safety of any work you have done then contact Gas Safe Register to request a free inspection."

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