Plumber put customers’ lives at risk

A PLUMBER has been prosecuted after carrying out illegal work on gas boilers which was so bad it put customers’ lives at risk.

Michael Gallimore, 62, of Hengrave Road, Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with four counts of breaching his general duty to his customers.

The self-employed plumber, who is now temporarily living in Shefford, Bedfordshire, admitted breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was alerted to Gallimore’s illegal work by the Gas Safe Register, which had carried out an investigation following a complaint from a customer.

The defendant had installed gas boilers at homes in Bury St Edmunds and Weeting in Norfolk between 2008 and 2009.

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The investigating officer found that the installation at Weeting was “immediately dangerous” and classified both installations as “at risk”.

Gallimore had also falsely claimed to be a legally registered engineer while working at the house in Weeting.

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Magistrates sentenced him to a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered him to pay �4,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Sue Matthews said: “It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on a gas appliance.

“When unregistered workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine, they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

He said customers should always use a Gas Safe registered engineer and should always check the engineer’s ID card to make sure they are qualified for the work.

By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. To find an engineer go to or call 0800 4085500.

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