A gas fitter from Buntingford was jailed for 9 months on Thursday 30th July for work that put the lives of his customers at risk.
The 28 year old was branded a ‘cowboy plumber’ after leaving jobs in Buntingford and Baldock in an unsafe condition.
Prosecutor Adam Payton told St Albans crown court that in October 2012 the gas fitter had been paid £1500 to carry out work at a house in Buntingford. He failed to turn up when he was supposed to and, when he did, he left pipes ‘uncapped’, causing a severe leak. “It posed a serious threat to life and property,” he said.
The following month he turned up at a house in Baldock with his brother to fix a gas fire. He was paid £210, but left the fireplace in such a state that carbon monoxide was being produced. It caused the home owner to feel sleepy, he said.
In addition the plumber had allowed his gas safety registration to lapse.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to discharge his duty under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Alex Britton, defending, said his client accepted he was in the wrong. He said he had been rushing the jobs because of personal problems and debts.
“He takes full responsibility and doesn’t seek to make excuses for poor work and accepts he put people in danger. He has expressed a great deal of remorse and regret,” he said.
Mr Britton said he was a man of good character who had acted out of character. He said he had struggled to find work after being branded a “cowboy plumber” in the local media.
Jailing him, Judge Andrew Bright QC said: “There was the potential of an explosion and of carbon monoxide poisoning. You showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others that could have led to fatalities.
“Those who do plumbing and gas fitting for reward have to do the job properly.”