Rotherham cowboy gas man faked ID

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A dodgy gas man who put a family at risk of an explosion in their living room has been fined £5,000.

Thomas Atkinson showed a fake ID before installing a gas fire with seven defects – leaving the family with a young son in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, a fire or an explosion.

Rotherham Magistrates’ Court was told Atkinson, of Radley Avenue, Wickersley, Rotherham, had installed a new gas fire on May 12 last year but had to be chased for a gas safety certificate. When it eventually arrived, the Herringthorpe family was suspicious and contacted Gas Safe Register, which found it was invalid.

An inspection found two faults in the fire were ‘immediately dangerous’.

The defects had the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a fire or explosion. A gas leak was traced to the inlet of the gas fire and gases produced on combustion were escaping from a part of the installation.

The HSE found Atkinson had never been registered as a qualified gas engineer in his own name.

HSE Inspector Mark Welsh said after the hearing: “The incident was preventable because Atkinson should not have carried out the work in the first place.

“From his previous experience he would have been perfectly aware that registration with Gas Safe is a prerequisite to being able to undertake gas work legally yet he went ahead with the job and then deliberately falsified a gas safety certificate.

“Illegal gas work is still a common occurrence and has the very real potential to lead to ill-health, injury or even fatality.”

The HSE said all Gas Safe registered engineers have ID cards which show who they are and the work they are qualified to undertake.