Suspended sentence for plumber who tricked landlord

A plumber has received a suspended sentence for putting the lives of tenants at risk after falsely telling their landlords that he was Gas Safe registered. Keith Downie supplied gas safety records to the landlords of at least three properties in the Darlington area between February and May 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation after a member of the public alerted them to his activities. Downie was prosecuted at Darlington Magistrates’ Court in December 2014.

The HSE investigation found that Downie had given the landlords gas safety records for three separate properties in the town. These falsely claimed that the safety checks had been carried out. What’s more, Downie had told the landlords he was Gas Safe registered, and even claimed to be the engineer that had carried out the previous year’s checks. However, the court heard Downie had never been Gas Safe registered and was not competent to carry out the work.

Downie, 51, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and pay £500 in costs after pleading guilty to six breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

At Walton & Allen, we want regular maintenance and repairs to be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s why we don’t contract this out to anyone else. Because it’s so important to our landlords and their tenants, we have our own in-house maintenance people available any time of the day or night.