A plumber was fined £3000 after his shoddy work caused a horror gas explosion which buried an elderly couple under the rubble of their former home.
Craig Hall, 35, was found guilty of installing a boiler dangerously at the house in Callander, Perthshire, Scotland in 2012 and was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday.
Hall did not solder a vital ring on the gas inlet pipe of the boiler which connected to a gas supply pipe allowing it to escape.
The gas then ignited eight months later causing the horror explosion which flattened the house belonging to Robin Cunningham, then 77, and wife Marion, then 74, the Daily Record reports.
Robin was flown to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where he was treated for a back injury and burns. Marion suffered less serious injuries.
Sheriff William Gilchrist yesterday told Hall he would be imposing the four-figure fine and accepted he had not intended to cause the accident.
He said I accept that it was not an intentional offence or involving wilful blindness. There were 20 solder rings you had to seal and you did it with 19 of them. You missed one.
He stated that the missed ring was connected to a gas pipe and that brought with it a considerable risk of harm.
Sheriff Gilchrist added The actual harm which was caused was significant. It blew up and thankfully the residents were not killed.
You have no relevant previous convictions and you appear to have a good health and safety record.
He imposed the fine on Hall, of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, and ordered him to pay the cash at £150 per month.
The court was told that the plumber was still employed but would have to undergo further training and a review of his qualifications.
Hall had denied installing the boiler dangerously but was found guilty following a trial in December.
He previously told the court that he had double-checked his work was gas tight and had used two different kinds of pressure gauges.
But he admitted that restricted space behind the boiler and the fitting plate made it difficult to visually inspect the fitting to check that the soldering had worked.
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