A builder was jailed for 12 months for illegally carrying out sub-standard and potenitally dangerous gas work at a lone pensioner’s home in Dunstable.
Patrick Regan conducted gas work and works affecting gas appliances at a 65-year-old woman’s house in Luton Road despite not being registered with Gas Safe, leaving her with a £5,000 repair bill.
Regan, of High Wycombe, carried out the work between January 21 and June 30, 2010.
The house was left with appliances in an “immediately dangerous” condition, but they weren’t disconnected until October 5, 2010 when a legitimate Gas Safe-registered engineer visited the property – over three months after Regan’s work had been finished.
Regan was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive identified serious safety failings.
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, causing a gas leak.
Other work included the installation of a five-metre length of gas supply pipework running directly across a doorway with only one clip supporting it.
Regan was found guilty of single breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was also ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Manley said: “Patrick Regan’s handiwork left a lot to be desired. He operated illegally and left a vulnerable pensioner at risk.
“This case highlights the need for householders to exercise caution when they select people to work in their home.
“You should only use a Gas Safe-registered engineer for gas fitting works.”
For more information visit www.hse.gov.uk/gas.