A gas engineer has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service for putting tenants at risk in rented homes in Chelmsford.

James Wilkinson was Gas Safe registered for some types of gas appliances, but had been carrying out work for which he was not competent, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

He was contracted to work on gas warm air units at five rented homes despite not holding the required qualification to undertake the work.

Mr Wilkinson twice left the gas installation at Bouchers Mead in an immediately dangerous condition. First he left a gas leak following a repair and then he failed to service the warm air unit correctly, leaving the tenants exposed to carbon monoxide. They were alerted to the danger by their carbon monoxide alarm.

James Douglas Wilkinson, of Chelmsford, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 120 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £2,527 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Health & Safety Executive inspector Susan Matthews said: “It is essential for public safety that gas appliances are only maintained by gas engineers who are competent to work on them and registered with Gas Safe Register for that work.”