An Essex installer was given a suspended prison sentence and 150 hours of unpaid community work after carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Colchester.

William Saint, 75, was hired to install a gas-fired boiler to heat a swimming pool at the home on Hall Cut Road on 1 April 2013, even though he was not Gas Safe registered, Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard on 1 May.

Despite several attempts at rectifying faults with the boiler installation, following advice from a Gas Safe Register engineer, Mr Saint failed to leave it in safe or successful operation and it was deemed to be ‘at risk’ when later inspected by the Register.

William Saint, of Cold Norton, Chelmsford, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, as well as 150 hours of unpaid community work after pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was also ordered to pay costs of £850.

HSE inspector Vicky Fletcher said: “William Saint was well aware that he should be registered with Gas Safe Register in order to carry out gas work, yet he still chose to flout the law.

“People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas explosions. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.”