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Man sentenced for performing unregistered gas work

06 February 2018

A self-employed handyman has been sentenced today for undertaking gas work which put the life of a homeowner at significant risk.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court has sentenced Paul Joseph Vokes, who was trading as Paul's Handyman Services, to an 18 week custodial sentence, ordered him to pay £3,000 costs and compensation of £1,470.

The court heard Vokes carried out work to replace ridge tiles on the roof of a property in Coatham Drive, Hartlepool. One of the tiles incorporated an adaptor so that it could be connected directly to the flue pipe which ran from the ground floor to the loft space. The purpose of the flue was to direct products of combustion, e.g. carbon monoxide from the gas boiler, directly outside.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the type of tile vent purchased by Mr Vokes was neither an adequate or appropriate substitute for the roof tile it was to replace, and was designed simply to ventilate the loft space. It did not incorporate an adaptor and was therefore not suitable to flue products of combustion.

The investigation also found that Mr Vokes was not competent to carry out work on flues or any gas fittings, nor was he registered with Gas Safe Register. His work fell well short of the expected standards when dealing with flues for gas appliances, therefore putting the homeowner at risk of serious harm or even death.