A Stoke-on-Trent man has received a suspended prison sentence after posing as a Gas Safe registered engineer and falsifying a Landlord's Gas Safety Record.

Cannock Magistrates' Court heard on 8 October that Christopher Andrew Morton, 61, was registered as a gas engineer for two periods between 2000 and 2003 but was refused re-registration in May 2003 because he failed to demonstrate sufficient competence to the-then registration body, CORGI.

When it came to the attention of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in 2008 that he was continuing to work on gas, a Prohibition Notice was served banning him from carrying out any further gas work. Morton then failed a refresher training course the following year so was again unable to gain registered status.

Despite this, he continued to install boilers and gas fires, as well as issue Landlord's Gas Safety Records. On one such record he used the name of a genuinely registered business without its knowledge.

Following information from the local council, Gas Safe and HSE visited three properties in the Stoke-on-Trent area and found faults with the work Morton had carried out.

HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Christopher Morton put lives and property in danger by deliberately and persistently flouting the laws that are designed to protect people from sub-standard and faulty gas work carried out by unregistered gas fitters. It is fortunate his illegal work did not result in injury or death.

"Anybody who carries out work on gas pipes or appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register or in direct contravention of a Prohibition Notice is breaking the law. Christopher Morton was not qualified to carry out the work he was employed to do and was therefore putting lives at risk."