Ben Craig Siddle, trading as BCS Gas & Plumbing, worked on numerous homes in Hampshire in 2021 and 2022.
Siddle, 24, falsely represented himself as a Gas Safe registered engineer to customers and thus qualified to work on gas appliances. But he was not, and the work he did fell below 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 Siddle’s installations.
At one property in Portsmouth, the boiler and flue that Siddle installed were deemed immediately dangerous. A boiler that Siddle installed at another property in Portsmouth, was classed as at risk. Having been prohibited from further gas fitting work by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in July 2021, Siddle committed further gas installation offences between March 2022 to August 2022 at a house in Waterlooville.
Ben Craig Siddle of 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 18th 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.”