Self-employed plumber from Waterlooville given suspended sentence for pretending to be Gas Safe registered
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The 24-year-old falsely represented himself as a Gas Safe registered engineer to a number of customers and he failed to complete work to appropriate standards, leaving residents at risk of being around unsafe gas appliances.
At one property on East Cosham Road, Portsmouth, the boiler and flue Mr Siddle installed were deemed immediately dangerous. A boiler Mr Siddle installed at another property on Howard Road, Portsmouth, was classed as at risk.
HSE enforcement lawyer Jon Mack said: "Mr Siddle was a convicted fraudster and rogue gas fitter who had dishonestly and intentionally breached the law with no regard for the safety of his customers or their families. When challenged by one of his customers, a childminder, Mr Siddle had shown her a photoshopped Gas Safe Register entry which he had stolen from an unconnected company, BCS Plumbing & Heating. He repeatedly lied in WhatsApp messages to another customer."
Having been prohibited from further gas fitting work by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in July 2021, Siddle then committed more gas installation offences at a property in Stakes Road between March 2022 to August 2022.
Ben Craig Siddle, of Hatchmore Road, Waterlooville, pleaded guilty to five breaches of Regulations 3(7) and 3(3) and 5(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 2005 and two breaches of Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
He was handed a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 in costs at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on 18 July 2023.
Jon Mack added: “Gas work should only be undertaken by someone who is competent and qualified to do so, and that means they have to be on the Gas Safe Register. Every engineer has a unique ID card showing the work they are qualified to undertake, and the public are encouraged to contact Gas Safe Register to check the person undertaking their gas work or if they have any concerns regarding gas work carried out.”