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Essex plumber prosecuted following illegal gas work

A plumber based in Essex has been prosecuted after he was found guilty of carrying out illegal and unsafe gas work.

Richard Smith, 56, was found to have done the work at two fried chicken shops in Southend-on-Sea, endangering staff and customers after leaving numerous gas appliances in the ‘At Risk’ condition.

Following Mr Smith’s work at Tasty Chicken, Westcliff-on-Sea, and The Chick Inn, Southend-on-Sea in June 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation. It found that he was not Gas Safe registered or competent to carry out the annual gas safety checks on commercial gas cookers and a gas boiler at the venues.

The HSE investigation found that Mr Smith had never been trained to carry out work on catering equipment in commercial premises, and had also been using an expired Gas Safe Register card. He had also been previously warned by the HSE against making false claims but had not heeded the warning.

Mr Smith pleaded guilty to six breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 240 hours of community work and a fine of