Gas installer prosecuted for illegal gas work

A gas installer has been sentenced after carrying out gas work that was found to be immediately dangerous whilst no longer being gas safe registered.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how from 11 November 2018, John Atherton had commenced fitting a new gas boiler and central heating system at a domestic property in St Helens, Merseyside. He installed the boiler and left the flue terminating in the loft allowing products of combustion to enter the property, resulting in the boiler being left in an immediately dangerous condition.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Atherton was not Gas Safe registered at the time the work was undertaken, despite implying that he held the necessary registration to complete this work. He had previously been registered with Gas Safe when working for a former employer, but the registration had lapsed on 11 October 2018. The registration was not renewed, resulting in him illegally carrying out the gas work.

Mr Atherton of Hallcroft, Skelmersdale, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 26 months imprisonment suspended for one year, ordered to carry out 200 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lisa Bailey said: “John Atherton undertook gas work, which he knew he was not registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”


Notes to Editors:
1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
3. More information about domestic gas health and safety can be found at
4. HSE news releases are available at