An illegal gas fitter has been fined after his substandard work posed a serious threat of fire and explosion.

Michael Rowe, from Bodmin, was contracted to install an LPG hob and associated pipework at a house in Trispen during a refurbishment project in 2011, Truro Magistrates’ Court heard today (7 February).

In March 2013 there was a fire from the gas pipe supplying the gas hob, and a subsequent inspection by a Gas Safe registered engineer found that compression joints on the installation were weeping LPG.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Rowe was not a registered gas engineer and had never been a member of the Gas Safe Register or its predecessor, CORGI.

Mr Rowe, of Gilbert Road, Bodmin pleaded guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,770 in costs. He was also ordered to pay £250 in compensation to the homeowner.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Rowe should not have been carrying out work on gas appliances because he is not qualified or competent to do so. His substandard work put the lives of other people at risk.”