A 70 year-old self-employed maintenance worker has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work at a café and restaurant in St Austell, exposing customers and workers to the risk of injury.

Alistair "Nick" Clyne, trading as Clyne Catering, was prosecuted at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 24 July for carrying out illegal gas work while servicing and repairing commercial catering equipment.

The court heard that Clyne was not registered with Gas Safe and had been warned by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in September 2012 not to undertake any gas work while unregistered.

HSE later found that Clyne had carried out work at Pit Stop Snacks in St Austell, repairing an LPG deep fat fryer and water boiler. He also carried out gas work at Simply Jude's restaurant in Pentewan, converting gas appliances to LPG and installing new gas pipework and gas appliances.

Clyne's illegal work came to light when the restaurant owner became concerned about the poor workmanship and called in a gas catering company to check the work. Work that Clyne undertook at one restaurant was classed as 'as risk' when inspected, meaning there was a danger to life or property.

Alistair Nicholas Clyne, of Gwindra Industrial Estate, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 between June 2012 and February 2013. He was fined £375 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000. He was also ordered to pay the restaurant owner £800 in compensation.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said: "Clyne chose to ignore a previous warning from HSE and displayed a blatant disregard for the safety of the public, and workers and customers at the restaurants.

"Gas work should only be undertaken by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered engineer. In this case, Clyne undertook commercial catering gas work which posed a real danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and/or explosion.