• Robert Spicer

Dangerous gas work: suspended prison sentences

Dangerous gas work: suspended prison sentences

Health and Safety Executive v Lee Butterworth t/a English Riviera Building Company Ltd and Scott Butterworth (2015) Torquay magistrates’ court, August 21

Lee and Scott Butterworth have been sentenced to suspended terms of imprisonment following illegal and dangerous gas work.

Significant points of the case

  • Lee Butterworth was carrying out work on a house in Plymouth. He contracted his brother Scott to install a gas boiler and pipework. Scott Butterworth was not a member of Gas Safe Register.

  • The property owner engaged a Gas Safe Register member to fit a gas cooker. He found a leak in the pipework and classified it as immediately dangerous with a real risk of a gas explosion.

Lee Butterworth was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid community work and to pay £496 costs, for a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Scott Butterworth received the same sentence.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that Lee Butterworth had failed to check if his brother was a member of Gas Safe Register. It was extremely fortunate that there had not been an explosion.

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