A Cornish landlord has been fined for risking the lives of neighbours by carrying out work on a domestic gas boiler, despite being unqualified to do so.

Shaun Johnson replaced an old gas boiler at the property in Liskeard but used the existing flue, which was not correctly supported, and the connection he made between the flue and the boiler was not properly seated.

This caused an immediate risk of explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning due to fumes escaping into the house had the boiler been used.

Truro Magistrates’ Court heard on 8 October that Johnson carried out the work in May this year while his mother, who lives at the property, was away.

Johnson asked a Gas Safe registered engineer to look at the work, but when the engineer saw the connection to the flue, classified the work as “immediately dangerous” and contacted the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Upon investigation, HSE found that Johnson was not Gas Safe registered and therefore was neither qualified nor legally entitled to work on gas.

Johnson, of Old Road, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £288.

HSE inspector Simon Jones, said: “Johnson tried to save money by removing an old gas boiler and replacing it with a new one himself, but his work had the potential to endanger lives – not just of anyone in the house itself, but also in neighbouring properties had there been an explosion.

“Gas work should only be undertaken by Gas Safe registered engineers who are properly trained and accredited to carry out work safely.”