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Jail term for plumber as a result of gas safety failings

A Chesterfield-based plumber has been jailed after carrying out work which could have endangered lives.

Steven Colson – who was previously known as Steven Barkway and trading as SBC Bathrooms – was employed to refurbish the bathroom at a customer's home in Ashover in July 2010.

In order to renovate the bathroom, the gas boiler needed to be decommissioned, moved and then recommissioned. Mr Colson carried out this work despite not being qualified to do so or being registered with Gas Safe.

The customer became suspicious of Mr Colson's work regarding the boiler and asked British Gas to service it. The British Gas engineer found six faults, three of which were deemed to be “immediately dangerous” and three of which were “not to current standards”.

Mr Colson had connected the boiler to the incorrect flue and had also not fitted an inner flue, which is essential to disperse fumes. He had also made it impossible for flue products to leave the flue, which could have caused a build-up of dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.

British Gas notified HSE, who prosecuted Mr Colson. He pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 3(1), 3(3), 26(1), 27(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to two months in prison plus costs of