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Illegal gas fitter tagged for tricking homeowners
Published:  15 April, 2013

A Rochdale man is under a tagging order curfew, having tricked a married couple into believing he was legally qualified to install a new gas boiler.

Malcolm Riley charged the homeowners £1,700 to fit a boiler in May last year, despite not being Gas Safe registered, and used false details on the Gas Safety Inspection Report he completed after finishing the installation.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard on 12 April that the couple contacted Riley, believing he was a registered gas engineer, to inspect the boiler after they became concerned about the noise it was making. He identified several issues with the way it had been installed, including problems with the boiler’s flue.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register found Riley had forged a signature and used the details of a registered gas engineer who had carried out annual gas safety checks at his own home to give the impression that the work had been done by a member of the Gas Safe Register.

Riley pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 by illegally installing a gas boiler and pretending to be registered to carry out the work. He received a community penalty requiring him to remain at home between 9pm and 7am every day for three months, and will have a tag fitted. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.

HSE Inspector David Norton said: "Riley knew the gas fittings at his home were safe as they had been checked by a registered engineer, but he put the lives of a married couple at risk by illegally fitting a boiler at their home.

"Gas work has the potential to cost lives if it is not carried out properly. That’s why it’s a legal requirement for gas fitters to be members of the Gas Safe Register.

"Riley used fake documents to give the impression he was qualified to fit the boiler but in fact it was only luck that no one was harmed as a result of his work."