Rogue plumber handed suspended prison sentence

A man from St Helens has been given a suspended prison sentence for carrying out illegal gas work in Cheshire.

Richard Goldthorpe, 37, installed various gas appliances at an address in Sandbach in April and May 2022 despite not being registered with the Gas Safe Register.

The homeowner contacted the police after noticing Mr Goldthorpe had not carried out the work properly. They were then made aware of Mr Goldthorpe’s previous chequered history.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had previously served Goldthorpe with a Prohibition Notice (in 2014), banning him from carrying out gas work. However, in 2020, he was prosecuted for carrying out more illegal gas work and given a 16-month prison sentence as a result.

HSE guidance can be found at: Gas – HSE.

Goldthorpe has also been exposed for his illegal gas work on BBC’s Rogue Traders TV programme.

An investigation by HSE found that Mr Goldthorpe carried out the installation of gas appliances despite not being Gas Safe Registered.

Richard Goldthorpe, of St Georges Road, St Helens, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) and Regulations 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 act and to breaching a HSE Prohibition Notice. He was sentenced to a total of 32 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs at Chester Magistrates on 6 November 2023.

HSE inspector Rose Leese-Weller said: “Richard Goldthorpe brazenly 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. Such offenders will be prosecuted.

“Goldthorpe has been previously prosecuted for the same offences and had even been warned on national television that he was breaking the law. The work he did was unsafe, it is only a matter of chance that no one was seriously harmed.

“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. The public should always ask to see the gas engineer’s identification and check the registration number online ( or ring the Gas Safe Register customer helpline 0800 408 5500.”

This HSE prosecution was supported by HSE senior enforcement lawyer Nathan Cook and enforcement lawyer Gemma Zakrzewski.


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 information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.
  4. Guidance on gas safety is available.