Scales of justice

Fake fitter flouted Prohibition Notice and left dangerous gas work

A self-employed plumber has received a suspended prison sentence for falsely pretending to be registered and carrying out dangerous gas work.

Ben Craig Siddle, trading as BCS Gas and Plumbing, worked in numerous homes in Hampshire in 2021 and 2022, Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard. He left two of the properties he worked on in an unsafe condition.

At one property on East Cosham Road, Portsmouth, Mr Siddle had installed a boiler and flue that were subsequently found to be Immediately Dangerous. He installed a boiler at another property in Portsmouth that was classified At Risk.

He was prohibited from carrying out gas work by HSE in July 2021 but ignored this. Between March 2022 and August 2022, he removed and capped two gas fires at a property in Waterlooville.

Registered and qualified gas engineers had to correct and repair the installations on which Mr Siddle had worked.

Mr Siddle, 24, falsely told his customers that he was registered.

Ben Craig Siddle, of Hatchmore Road, Waterlooville, Hampshire, 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 given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 in costs.

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… He repeatedly lied in WhatsApp messages to another customer.”

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