Plumber Prosecuted For Endangering Lives

A self-employed plumber has been prosecuted after carrying out illegal work on gas boilers that was so bad it put his customer's lives at risk.

Michael Gallimore, 62, formerly of Fornham, All Saints, admitted breaching health and safety laws at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was alerted to Mr Gallimore’s illegal work by the Gas Safe Register, which had carried out an investigation following a complaint from a customer. Mr Gallimore had installed gas boilers at houses in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, and Weeting in Norfolk between 2008 and 2009.

The investigating officer found that the installation at Weeting was “immediately dangerous” and classified both installations as “at risk”. Mr Gallimore had also falsely claimed to be a legally registered engineer while working at the house in Weeting.

Speaking after the case Frank Simmonds, 69, who hired Mr Gallimore to work on his home in Weeting, said: "We asked Michael Gallimore if he was qualified to do the gas work and he told us he was. We asked to see his paperwork and he said he would provide it to us later - but it just didn't appear. I would advise anyone hiring a tradesman to always check and double check the paperwork before you allow them to start work in your home. You think it will never happen to you but it can."

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 customer's lives at risk. Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way."

Mr Gallimore admitted breaching regulations of the Gas Safety Regulations of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Magistrates sentenced Mr Gallimore to a one year conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £4,000 in costs.


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