A PUB landlady who faked a gas safety certificate then sold her pub lease on despite two of its boilers being unsafe has been spared jail.

Dawn Neil, of Hanney Road, Abingdon, had already admitted one count of fraud by false representation.

Oxford Crown Court heard at her sentencing yesterday that the 35-year old ‘downloaded’ a blank safety certificate from the internet for two of her boilers at the Black Horse pub at Gozzard’s Ford near Abingdon.

She then went on to fill in the details herself in order to pass the boilers as safe in March last year despite an earlier inspection determining they were in poor condition and needed changing.

Neil, who was the leaseholder of the pub, then sold the lease for a price tag of about £46,000.

The court heard that it wasn’t until a customer tipped off the new landlords that the boilers were not in the best condition that a new inspection was ordered.

Engineers soon discovered that the boilers were in fact unsafe and they were duly condemned, with the new owners having to pay £19,000 to replace them.

Blasting her actions Judge Peter Ross said: “You could not know whether this boiler was unsafe or not. You were prepared to take a risk with the lives and the welfare of others for a commercial convenience.

“This was a deeply reckless and dishonest act and the ramifications I suspect you had not even contemplated have been considerable.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Stone also told the court Neil had used the name of a recognised engineer from Nottingham as the signatory and that as a result of the failed inspection he was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive despite having no involvement in the fraud.

In mitigation, Nicholas Cotter said that his client was ‘remorseful’ and added: “She has been an industrious, hard-working woman all of her life.

“Her good character is lost, that for a lot of people that turn up in the courts is neither here nor there, but for my client it is a profound loss.”

Neil was given a 16-month jail term suspended for two years and made subject to a community order to include 80 hours of unpaid work.

She must also pay compensation of £2,000 to the pub leaseholder and £1,000 to the engineer who was investigated as well as £275 court costs and a victim surcharge.