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Unregistered plumber handed suspended prison sentence

04 March 2024

AN UNREGISTERED plumber has received a suspended prison sentence after he carried out illegal gas work at a house in Peterborough.

Anthony Rice, trading as Rice Plumbing and Oil Heating, attended the property on Edwalton Avenue on 31 January 2023 where he replaced a gas boiler and altered gas pipe work. However, Rice accidentally connected the gas supply with water, meaning the property’s gas pipes and gas meter were flooded.

Gas engineers from Cadent later attended the property and were required to pump water from the emergency control valve and replace the gas meter. The engineers classed the gas boiler Rice had installed as immediately dangerous, capped off the gas supply before notifying the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A HSE investigation found that Anthony Rice has never been registered with the Gas Safe Register – a legal requirement. He also held no qualifications nor completed any training in gas work.

HSE has guidance for gas consumers and what they need to know in ordered to manage gas appliances and equipment safety as well as what you need to do in an emergency. To find out more click here: Gas – HSE

To find out if an engineer is legally permitted to carry out gas work, click here: Gas Safe Register

Anthony Rice, of Fullbridge Road, Werrington, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulations 3(1) and 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, contrary to Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for six months, and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 26 February 2024.

HSE inspector Adam Johnson said: “Anthony Rice undertook gas work which he was not registered to do. All gas work must be conducted by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

This HSE prosecution was led by HSE enforcement lawyer Matthew Reynolds.