Engineer jailed for illegal gas work

A plumbing and heating engineer has been jailed for 20 weeks after carrying out illegal gas work.

Peter Read, who traded as A.C.E Plumbing and Heating in Portsmouth, was contracted to install a new gas central heating boiler for a customer in January 2020.

A few days later the customer experienced problems with the boiler. On inspection by an engineer on the Gas Safe Register, the installation did not meet current standards. Further repair work was then required by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure that the installation was in a safe condition.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Peter Read was not competent to carry out gas work and not on the Gas Safe Register at the time he carried out this work. Mr Read had previously been prosecuted by the HSE in April 2016 and had been found guilty of carrying out unregistered gas work. He was fully aware of his legal responsibilities when carrying out gas work.

Peter Read of Seafield Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) and 3(3) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and section 22 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was handed a custodial sentence of 20 weeks at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on 2 December 2022.

HSE Inspector Karen Morris said: “Peter Read continued to carry out gas work while he was not competent to do so and while not Gas Safe Registered.

“He has shown a blatant disregard for the law and continues to put people at risk despite previous enforcement against him by the HSE. His actions have not only caused considerable stress for the customers concerned but have also resulted in additional financial outlay required to put right his poor-quality work.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone who needs gas work doing to make sure they check that the engineer has the right skills and is registered with Gas Safe Register. This is very easy to do and by law, anyone working with gas must be listed on the register.”

Find out more about the Gas Safe Register and for more information on gas health and safety visit HSE’s website.


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to 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. To help ensure the highest standards of gas safety are met and to prevent injury and loss of life, all gas work in domestic premises must be carried out by people who have been properly trained and are registered Gas Safe engineers. HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against people who break the laws surrounding gas work which are in place to protect the public. We would encourage anyone who is asking for gas work to be done to make sure they check the engineer has the right skills and is registered with Gas Safe Register. Homeowners can ask to see the engineer’s Gas Safe Register identification card which contains key information. Further information about gas safety can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at