A Houghton Regis plumber investigated by Trading Standards officers has been fined for deliberately trying to mislead consumers.
Luke Lee, trading as Local Emergency Plumbing Services Ltd, appeared in Luton Magistrates Court onTuesday, February 25.
That court appearance followed an investigation which had been carried out by Central Beds Council’s Trading Standards team.
Lee, of Elm Park Close, had been falsely claiming that he was a Gas Safe registered engineer.
He had also been using false examples of “before” and “after” photographs on his website.
The pictures were said to show work he had purportedly carried out.
But in fact, the “before” and “after” examples on the website were completely fictional.
Lee pleaded guilty to breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Business Protection From Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.
The plumber was fined a total of £800.
And he was ordered to pay £240 in costs and victim surcharge.
After the case, Councillor Brian Spurr, the council’s executive member for sustainable communities services, gave a warning that action will be pursued against any traders who set out to mislead the public.
Mr Spurr said: “Our priority is to protect consumers and to keep them safe.
“So if traders are deliberately trying to mislead them, we have to take action.”
The councillor emphasised: “Any type of gas work is dangerous and should only ever be carried out by a properly registered, trained and competent engineer.”
And he had useful words of advice for the public.
Mr Spurr said: “Any residents who want to check whether an engineer is ‘Gas Safe’ registered should call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk.”