A self-employed plumber has received a suspended prison sentence after carrying out unsafe gas work in Hampshire and for pretending to be Gas Safe registered.
Ben Craig Siddle, trading as BCS Gas and Plumbing, worked on numerous homes in Hampshire in 2021 and 2022 even though he was not a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Mr Siddle, 24, falsely represented himself as a Gas Safe registered engineer to customers and did not carry out the work to appropriate standards, leaving residents at risk from unsafe gas appliances.
He left two of the properties he worked on in an unsafe condition.
Gas Safe registered engineers were later required to correct and repair installations Mr Siddle had carried out at these properties. 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. Having been prohibited from further gas fitting work by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in July 2021, Mr Siddle committed further gas installation offences between March 2022 to August 2022 at a house on Stakes Road, Waterlooville.
A HSE investigation found Mr Siddle had falsely presented himself as Gas Safe registered while carrying out gas work at these properties. HSE inspectors found Mr Siddle had failed to comply with a Prohibition Notice issued by HSE which required him to stop carrying out gas work.
HSE guidance can be found at: Gas – HSE
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 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.
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.
“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.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
- The Gas Safe Register web site can be found at: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk