A COWBOY plumber was handed a suspended prison sentence after a botched job on a gas boiler put lives at risk.
Burton Magistrates’ Court was told rogue trader Glenn Edkins (pictured) carried out faulty work at a Barton home in November 2012 using a false Gas Safe registration number.
The 43-year-old, of Holly Road, Barton, who traded as GPE Plumbing, was investigated after the homeowner began to smell gas soon afterwards.
An inspection from a registered engineer found potential deadly defects in Edkins’ work which could have caused an explosion.
Presiding magistrate Lesley Gilman said: “We find this a disturbing case, you have left people in danger.
“You made a mess of installing the appliance and, what has bothered us even more, is that you pretended to have qualifications that you obviously did not have.”
The court was told Edkins used the wrong sized pipe to feed gas to the boiler, which could cause pressure to fall dangerously low if several appliances were used at once.
The feed to a hob could have cut out, only to start again when pressure increased filling the room with flammable gas.
Edkins also used corroded pipes which could have led to leaks and explosions, the court was told.
The self-employed plumber represented himself when he appeared before magistrates yesterday, dressed in a light shirt, tie and blue jacket.
He said: “I obviously regret what happened. I would have liked to have has a solicitor here to help, but he has let me down.”
The Health and Safety Executive brought three charges for breaching gas safety law against Edkins, who pleaded guilty to the allegations.
Magistrates sentenced him to six months in prison, which they suspended for 12 months.
He must pay £1,275 in compensation to the victim, £1,264 in court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Speaking after the hearing, inspector Lyn Spooner said she hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent.
She said: “Glenn Edkins put lives and property in danger by flouting the laws that are designed to protect people from substandard and defective gas work carried out by unregistered fitters.
“Hopefully this will make him think twice before he carries out any further work.”