A gas fitter has been given a six month suspended prison sentence for carrying out illegal work on boiler installations in the Brixham area over a two year period.
Stephen Nurse’s offences came to light when he was sentenced for further gas safety offences at Exeter Crown Court last February (2013). He was then handed a suspended prison sentence after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found he had installed domestic boilers without being registered with Gas Safe – a legal requirement for anyone undertaking gas work.
Mr Nurse, 60, of Brixham, claimed that was the only illegal work he had done, but in a further HSE prosecution at Exeter Crown Court today (10 March), a catalogue of similar offences came to light. The court was told HSE had identified 45 probable incidents which were ordered to lie on the file.
It follows publicity of his original conviction when concerned members of the public contacted HSE to say he may also have undertaken work in their home. Extensive HSE enquiries established that Mr Nurse had used the name and Gas Safe Register identification number belonging to a legitimate registered gas engineer when approaching customers.
He worked under false pretences at properties in and around Brixham. That illegal work included fitting three boilers at homes in Harbour View Close, Parkham Towers and Park Court, Brixham, between December 2007 and July 2012.
Stephen Nurse, of Church Street, Brixham, pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 3 (3) and Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to two six month suspended prison sentences to run concurrently, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs.
Speaking after sentencing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said:
“Mr Nurse blatantly lied to the court when he told them that he had not undertaken any other gas work. In total he appears likely to have undertaken gas work on at least 45 occasions, including three complete gas boiler installations, and he did so falsely using a legitimate Gas Safe Register engineer’s details to deliberately mislead his customers.
“The law clearly states that only Gas Safe Registered engineers are allowed to do gas work. Stephen Nurse knew this, but he was working well outside the law.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added:
“Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries an ID card that not only confirms that they are who they say they are, but also has information about the kind of work they can carry out.
“We always encourage the public to ask to the see the card and to check the details either by calling us on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk ”
At the previous hearing last year, Stephen Nurse was given a two month prison sentenced suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation after admitting three breaches of gas safety regulations.
Further information about gas safety can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/gas.
Notes to Editors
The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No self-employed person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting unless a member of a class of person approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive (Gas Safe Registered).”
Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall falsely pretend to be a member of a class of persons required to be approved.”
HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.