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Willenhall man in court for illegal gas work

16 January 2014

A Willenhall man has been sentenced to 80 hours’ worth of unpaid work for carrying out illegal and dangerous work on gas boilers at two Stourbridge properties.

The work Paul Creswell carried out at a flat in Hanbury Court was of such poor workmanship that it meant there was a realistic and probable chance of carbon monoxide entering the property because he had failed to fix the flue to the boiler correctly.

He also carried out sub-standard work at a house in Vale Street, where the wiring he installed was so dangerous it had the potential for pipes to become live. Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard on the 15th January that his failings came to light following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after one of the residents complained to Gas Safe Register.

The investigation found Mr Cresswell, 44, was not registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement for anyone undertaking gas work – and obtained work by providing the managing agents of the properties he worked on with out of date registration documents.

He also continued to display Gas Safe signage on his van, falsely indicating he was authorised to work on gas appliances. Mr Cresswell had been registered between 7 July 2011 and 6 July 2012 but allowed his registration to lapse.

Paul Cresswell of Beccles Drive, Willenhall, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3), 3(7), 26(1) and 27(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in December 2012 and January 2013.

He was ordered to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work and was told to pay costs of £1,270. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Karl Raw said: "Mr Creswell knew he was not registered with Gas Safe and that he should not have been carrying out the work.

He deliberately misled the property agents who employed him and put the tenants – a young family and a pensioner – at risk of serious injury or even death.” Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, added: "Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries an ID card which shows who they are and the kind of work they are qualified to undertake. We encourage people to always ask to see the card, and to check their details with us by calling 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk”

Further information on gas safety can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/gas