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Illegal gas fitter put homeowners at risk

A self-employed builder has been in court after he installed a wall-mounted gas boiler and associated pipe-work, despite not being Gas Safe Registered, and put the lives of home-owners in danger.

What happened?

Jason Sapsford had been contracted to remove a gas boiler from a house in Clacton-on-Sea, and install a wall mounted gas boiler in its place.

After he installed the system however, it broke down repeatedly and the resident was left with holes to an exterior wall, no room-control thermostat and other electrical faults.

Additionally, Mr Sapsford had removed all copper pipe-work and replaced it with plastic piping – which was inappropriate for its intended use and badly fitted, so subsequently leaked.

The homeowner was therefore faced with costs of around £2,500 to repair the damage and install a room thermostat.

What was the outcome?

Both British Gas and Gas Safe carried out inspections on the property and classified the installation as being ‘At Risk’ – indicating that the system, in its current state, had the potential to put both life and property at risk.

Jason Sapsford, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Herts, and was fined a total of £2,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,252 and victim compensation of £2,285.

HSE Inspector, Paul Grover, said:

“This gas work was carried out by an unregistered and incompetent
individual who was prepared to put life and property at risk
for the sake of quick profit.

“People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Mr Sapsford’s
actions were callous and uncaring and he showed little or no concern
for the difficulties experienced by the householders, or the
danger his handiwork presented to the general public.”

If you have been affected by an incident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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