A MAN illegally claimed he was a gas safety registered engineer and carried out work at a chip shop that could have caused an explosion.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Anthony Lord falsified documents and reports for work he carried out at the Gilnow Chippy in Gilnow Road and Hamzah Sweets and Bakers in St Helens Road.

In July 2017 Lord's offences came to light when, following a gas leak at the chip shop, a Gas Safety Register investigator visited the premises.

Julian King, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, told the court: "He found number of serious defects."

There was a gas leak from the meter in the cellar of the premises.

"His finding was that there was immediate danger to the public," said Mr King.

"The risk of an explosion where there is a gas leak if potentially catastrophic."

There were also faults with gas interlock system Lord had fitted in the kitchen. Such systems prevent the gas being turned on if there is not adequate ventilation.

By law all gas engineers have to be registered with the Gas Safety Register. Lord, aged 52, of Sevenoaks Drive, Great Lever, had been registered between November 2015 and March 2016 with a previous employer.

But when he carried out the work at the sweet and chip shops he was not.

Lord initially claimed other people had carried out work at the chip shop but then pleaded guilty to five offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

"This was a deliberate concealment of illegal activity because he provided false documentation to give assurances to those he was carrying out the work for," said Mr King.

Michael James, defending, stressed that father-of-two Lord has no previous convictions.

He added that Lord, who has worked as a gas engineer since leaving school, was unemployed and had difficult family circumstances when he was approached to carry out the work at the sweet shop.

"He has not engaged in any other type of work and would not do so again," said Mr James.

Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Lord to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to undertake in 210 hours of unpaid work and participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

"Anyone tempted to do this sort of thing must know that it is particularly serious," Judge Stead told Lord.