On 7 February 2023, the defendant was sentenced in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court for numerous breaches of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (‘the Act’). The defendant conducted a business which included the performance of electrical work without holding an electrical contract licence, contrary to section 56 of the Act (Charge 1). Additionally, the defendant, as a person who held a duty pursuant to section 30 of the Act, failed to ensure the business was conducted in a way that was electrically safe, and exposed individuals to a risk of death or serious injury on five separate occasions (Charges 2-6).
On 20 February 2020, the defendant was issued with an electrical work training permit, which was restricted to refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, it did not permit him to perform any electrical installation work. The defendant never held any other class of electrical work licence. The defendant advertised his services on Facebook, offering the sale and installation of air conditioning units.
Over a period of approximately five and a half months between 13 December 2019 and 28 May 2020, the defendant conducted a business which included the performance of electrical work. He did not hold a valid electrical contractor licence during this time. The defendant performed electrical work as part of his business when installing air conditioning units at five properties during this period. The electrical work performed by the defendant at each of the five addresses exposed the occupier of the house and other persons to electrical risk and, consequently, to the risk of death or serious injury.
In sentencing, Magistrate Howden took into account the defendant’s plea of guilty, his cooperation, and his lack of criminal history. His Honour noted that the defendant held some qualifications, which enabled him to conduct some work installing air conditioners, however that authority ended at a certain point and the defendant went beyond what he was authorised to do. His Honour considered general deterrence to be of importance, particularly with respect to Charge 1.
His Honour noted that the defendant had worked in the industry for a number of years and had held a certain class of licence, and therefore should have known that the work he was doing went beyond the scope of the licence he held. His Honour indicated that a message needed to be sent to the defendant and others.
His Honour had regard to section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the principles contained in the Act, and the principles in the case of Mac Plant. His Honour noted that while the work conducted fell well short, and despite the potential consequences, it was fortunate that no damage or injuries were sustained.
His Honour took into account that the defendant had mental health issues, some physical health issues, and no criminal history. His Honour noted that the defendant was now pursuing a career in biomedical science.
Taking into account all matters, His Honour fined the defendant $10,000 for Charge 1, and $6,000 for each of Charges 2 to 6; a total fine of $40,000.
With respect to recording a conviction, his Honour considered that it was unlikely the defendant would commit further offences. His Honour noted that the defendant was moving into a different field of work and the impact that recording a conviction may have upon that. His Honour exercised his discretion to not record a conviction.
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Charge 1: Section 56(1) of the Electrical Safety Act 2002. Charges 2-6: Sections 30, 40C of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.