A PLUMBER from Ilton has been fined and ordered to pay hefty costs after pleading guilty to five breaches of gas safety regulations.

Ian Gardiner, 46, of Copse Lane, who traded as Ian Gardiner Plumbing and Heating Services appeared at Yeovil Magistrates.

The court heard that Gardiner falsely claimed to be a Gas Safe registered engineer and left a gas boiler he installed in a dangerous state.

He was found guilty at Yeovil Magistrates for a series of offences contravening gas safety regulations and was fined £2,100, ordered to pay £2,000 costs and £125 in compensation after pleading guilty to five breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Magistrates were told that Gardiner provided a homeowner in Yeovil with a quote to install a gas-fired central heating system on headed paper with a Gas Safe Register logo.

On completion of the work he also provided further paperwork, including a gas boiler system commissioning checklist which included a Gas Safe Register number.

The court heard how the property was inspected after the work in October 2013 and identified nine defects in the way the central heating system had been installed, three of which constituted a danger to life or property:An investigation by HSE found Mr Gardiner's Gas Safe registration had expired in May 2010 and that the Gas SafeRegister number he had provided belonged to an unconnected engineer who had not given permission for his registration number to be used and had no knowledge of the installation.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Mehtaab Hamid said: “Standards in gas work do change and it is important for gas engineers to keep up to date. The work he carried out put anyone in this property at potentially serious risk.

“Incorrectly fitted gas appliances can be highly dangerous and can lead to loss of life. Gas Safe Register exists to protect the public from people like Mr Gardiner who are prepared to work illegally, despite not being qualified and competent.”