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Community service for fraudulent plumber
Published:  09 April, 2014

A plumber has been given an unpaid community service order for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Milton Keynes.

Darren Queeley installed a new gas boiler and pipework at the vacant rental property on 2 January 2013, despite not being Gas Safe Registered, Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard on 8 April.

Mr Queeley then informed the owner that he would need to contact another gas fitter to check the boiler, falsely claiming he was Gas Safe registered only for work in London, and not the Milton Keynes area.

A qualified gas fitter subsequently inspected the work and discovered that an unsafe connection had left the flue in an unsuitable condition, identifying the boiler as ‘immediately dangerous’. The fitter turned the gas supply off and informed the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Darren Queeley, of Starling Walk, Hampton was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid community service work over a period of 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,055 after pleading guilty to four breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

HSE inspector Robert Meardon said: “Darren Queeley has shown a flagrant disregard for the law. He carried out gas work while unregistered, leaving a domestic boiler in a dangerous condition and likely to leak gas.

“People can and do die as a result of gas leaks. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings. Unless you are on the Register, you should not undertake this work. If you are a landlord or homeowner you need to make sure you only use someone who is on the register.

“HSE will not hesitate to take action in cases of unsafe and unregistered gas work, and will always hold offenders to account.”