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Rogue Gas fitter guilty of fraud

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A rogue gas fitter who falsely claimed to be Gas Safe registered before carrying out unsafe work at consumers’ homes has been prosecuted by Dudley trading standards.

Nicholas Marks of Walsall Road, Lichfield, who traded as Topmarks Plumbers UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and to dishonestly making a false representation that Topmarks Plumbers UK Ltd was Gas Safe registered.

On January 18 Dudley magistrates heard how he had carried out unsafe work at two addresses, which should only have been done by a registered Gas Safe engineer.

The court sentenced Marks to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year, and he was ordered to be electronically tagged and placed on a curfew for 16 weeks from 8pm to 6am daily.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £2494.61 and a victim’s surcharge of £115.

The court heard Marks had since changed careers and no longer worked as a plumber or gas fitter.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:

It is important consumers are not misled by traders as they will use this information to make decisions about who to employ and quite rightly expect what’s claimed to be true.
Carrying out gas safety work when you are not registered as competent to do so is extremely serious and this could have endangered the lives of customers.
We would always prefer to work with businesses to advise and assist them to comply with the law but when their actions are reckless and put safety at risk, we will not hesitate to take action to protect consumers.

To check your gas engineer is registered, ask to see their gas engineer’s ID card. If in doubt check the gas safe register to see if the engineer is registered for the work you need doing at www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/

Dudley Trading Standards also offers the Fix a Home list of local approved traders who provide services of a high standard at a fair cost. These include some local plumbers and gas fitters who are gas safe registered. 

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