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Plymouth plumber sentenced for putting lives at risk with false gas safety checks

A plumber arranged for fraudulent gas safety checks at landlords' tenanted properties, leaving a gas boiler in a dangerous state and putting the lives…

A plumber arranged for fraudulent gas safety checks at landlords’ tenanted properties leaving a gas boiler in a dangerous state and putting the lives of the tenants at risk.

Gary Lynch, aged 36, arranged for Neil Walker to undertake the landlords’ gas safety checks at tenanted properties on 14 separate occasions between February 2013 and May 2015 despite Mr Walker not being a registered gas engineer.

Mr Lynch did not undertake any checks on whether Mr Walker was registered to legally undertake such work. Gas safety records produced by Mr Walker used a false Gas Safe Register registration number and a fictitious address.

One gas boiler passed by Mr Walker as safe was subsequently found to be ‘Immediately Dangerous’ and was possibly leaking carbon monoxide into the tenants’ property. The tenants contacted Wales and West Utilities after suffering from headaches and dizziness. The gas supply to the boiler was isolated and the HSE were contacted.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that Mr Lynch had previously been warned by HSE in 2014 about undertaking gas work whilst not registered following previous concerns.

Mt Lynch pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for each offence suspended for 18 months and was ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said:

"Gary Lynch’s negligence could have cost lives. All landlords’ gas safety checks must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.

Mr Lynch knew this but carried on instructing an unregistered man and put the lives of tenants at serious risk from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning."