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JAIL SENTENCE FOR PLUMBER AFTER HOME EXPLOSION

Pensioner suffers 21% burns after work on gas by unregistered plumber 

A Wolverhampton plumber has been given a ten-month suspended jail sentence for causing a gas explosion and fire in which a pensioner sustained 21 per cent burns rescuing his nine-year-old granddaughter.

Peter Naylor removed the gas meter at the property in order to reach a leaking water stopcock he was repairing in December 2010.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that the explosion occurred, 15 minutes after he had left the bungalow to buy a replacement stopcock, causing a fire which spread through the building. The householder John Davies, 66, had to rescue his nine-year-old granddaughter from a back bedroom and was bably burned in doing so.

HSE’s investigators found Mr Naylor was not registered with the Gas Safe Register to work on gas appliances and had not isolated the gas system correctly. Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register said:

“Gas work should only be undertaken by someone who is competent and qualified to do so, and that means they must be on the Gas Safe Register. Our research has shown that around 250,000 illegal gas jobs are undertaken each year.”

“Incompetence” caused the explosion

Peter Willliam Naylor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was given a ten-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work. The court also ordered Mr Naylor to pay £2,000 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Pamela Folsom said:

“This case is a warning to unregistered individuals that they should never undertake gas work under any circumstances. Anybody who carries out work on meters, boilers, hobs, ovens, fires or any other gas appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law.

Mr Naylor believed he had sufficient basic knowledge to work with gas but he was not authorised to do this and did not follow proper safety precautions. His incompetence caused an explosion that could easily have been fatal, and the resulting fire left Mr Davies with serious burns and a home so badly damaged that it had to be demolished.”

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