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Fire-safety glazing fraudster handed one-year prison sentence

A fraudster who sold fake fire safety glass that ended up installed in schools, universities and hospitals has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Seamus James Laverty, 58, a resident of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, sold ordinary laminate glass under the pretense that it was fire resistant.

The deception, which continued for three years between 2010 and 2013, was uncovered by a competitor, who became suspicious of Laverty’s low prices and acquired a sample of fire-safety glass from Glassworks Ireland, where Laverty worked.

Laverty pleaded guilty to 16 counts of fraud by false representation at Antrim Crown Court. The fraud totalled £145,000.

The glass was sold to the construction industry and ultimately used in buildings across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England.

Steve Rice, director of technical affairs at the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), said: “This news and the subsequent prison sentence clearly shows the importance for all companies in the fire resistant glazing sector to ensure the specification, supply and installation of fire resisting glazing is provided at the correct level of protection for people and property.

“The GGF through its Fire Resisting Glazing Group (FRGG) promotes, develops and champions the application of best practice in the use of fire-resistant glazing systems with a recognition of their responsibilities in ensuring fitness for purpose in the event of fire.”

The GGF has published two guides that advise on specifying and buying appropriate products: the Guide to Best Practice in the Specification and Use of Fire-Resistant Glazed Systems and Standard for: The Specification, Supply and Installation of Fire-Resistant Barriers containing Glass.

GGF also runs courses in fire-resistant glazing through its training arm, GGF Training.

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