Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

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A Trader who exposed a Leeds couple to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos dust has been given a suspended jail term.

Clive Raper, 49, took a job to remove asbestos insulating board from the garage of the couple’s home in Bramhope without a legal licence.

Trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, he hired workers to help him but failed to take vital safety precautions or implement legal controls to protect people and the environment.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Raper for safety breaches after investigating the incident in July 2011.

The court heard Raper left asbestos debris and residue at the site, compounding the owners’ risk of inhaling the potentially cancer-causing substance.

They were so concerned with how the garage was left they contacted Leeds Council, which reported the matter to the HSE.

Raper, of Fawcett Gardens, Lower Wortley, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £260 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said: “It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger.

“It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and wellbeing of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.

“We were unable to identify the two workers involved as Mr Raper could not provide their full names or contact details. We do think, however, that they were probably both exposed to asbestos fibres above the action level.

“This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence.”

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