Not so Golden

Not so Golden

HETAS continues it’s work of ridding our industry of the cowboys who mislead customers and rip them off with poor standards of workmanship. Rogue traders Liam Golden and Aaron Parry were charged in court in the last month through the hard work of HETAS and Trading Standards.

Two rogue traders narrowly avoided prison time earlier this year following investigations by Anglesey Trading Standards and Derbyshire Trading Standards with the support of HETAS. The prosecutions of Aaron Parry and Liam Golden follow the recent cases of Daniel Park, Justin Jackson. Luke Hathway and Glyn Mayne. The growing number of cases demonstrates the determination of HETAS and Trading Standards across the UK to protect consumers from fraud, unfair trading, whilst  ensuring product safety and building regulations standards are met.

Rogue heating engineer narrowly avoids jail

Rogue trader Liam Golden, 34, trading as LG Heating, of South Normanton, falsely claimed to customers that he was registered with the HETAS, using the logo on his website and business cards.

Following communications with HETAS and Trading Standards and despite numerous warnings, Golden continued to claim to be HETAS registered to four customers who had contacted him to install log burners. Golden continued to use the logo on his website and business cards.

He was then prosecuted by the council’s trading standards team.

Guilty Plea

Golden pleaded guilty to four charges under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court in March. Of the four charges, two were for claiming to be HETAS registered or approved when he was not, and two were for using the HETAS logo without authorisation.

At Derby Crown Court in April Golden was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to undertake 75 hours unpaid work and eight days rehabilitation activity days.

Of this case, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Har commented:

Offences like these are serious as they lead the public to believe and trust they are getting an industry certified professional who meets all the necessary safety standards. In this case numerous warnings were given and ignored, with customers putting their trust in this person because of his false claims.

These regulations are in place to protect people from substandard or dangerous work by unregistered engineers and we will not tolerate tradespeople deliberately flouting them.” 

Further Action

Further to the enforcement action, a future Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will take place to determine if Golden has funds or assets to pay compensation to the victims or costs to the county council.

Anyone who has fallen victim to work undertaken by Golden should contact the Local trading Standards office or HETAS for further advice.

HETAS takes very seriously any instance of brand misuse and will continue its work with Trading Standards to bring about enforcement where necessary. HETAS supports the legitimate installers who register and meet the required standards to be registered with HETAS. Always check the credentials of any tradesperson you employ to undertake work.

Parry pays the price

Our second success story in March was the prosecution of Aaron Parry. On Wednesday 6th March 2019 Parry of Holyhead, Anglesey, pleaded guilty at Caernarfon Magistrates Court to two offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, two offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and to one offence contrary to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

The offences relate to Mr Parry’s installation business and occurred at domestic properties between March 2017 and April 2018. Parry was accused of several unlawful acts, including the following:

  • making and supplying an article namely a HETAS commissioning document which contained false information intending it to be used to assist in fraud
  • dishonestly making false representation to HETAS relating to his working history
  • Supplying an unsafe multi fuel stove system
  • Using a HETAS logo without authority
  • Recklessly engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence

Sentencing

Upon considering all of the facts, including mitigation from the defence, the court sentenced Parry to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. In addition, he was ordered to pay £1,134.01 in Prosecution Costs, Compensation and Victim Surcharge.

Investigating Officer Robert Williams comments:

The sentence handed down by the court demonstrates the level of seriousness attached to offences of Fraud, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading and to breaches in Product Safety Legislation. Furthermore, it demonstrates the drive and capacity within Anglesey Trading Standards to actively investigate, and if necessary, prosecute offenders.

The court took a very dim view of Parry’s actions and were critical of his misuse of the HETAS branding with the charges relating heavily towards the misuse of the HETAS brand. The charges were outlined as follows:

Charge 1: That he did on 12th February 2018 make and supply an article, namely a HETAS Commissioning document incorrectly dated as 12th March 2018 and containing false HETAS registration numbers, intending it to be used to assist in the commission of a fraud. Contrary to Section 7 Fraud Act 2006.

Charge 2: That he did on 30th April 2018 dishonestly make false representations to HETAS in relation to his working history in that he with a view to gain for himself a HETAS registration renewal claimed not to have undertaken any installation work since 26th December 2017. Contrary to Section 2 Fraud Act 2006.

Charge 3: That he being a professional multi fuel stove installer, did between 1st March 2017 and 22nd February 2018 supply an unsafe product, namely a rotating multi fuel stove installed at Maes Banadl, Llanddeusant without due regard to the effect on other products, in that he allowed insufficient separation distance between the flue and the ceiling, did not fit a fire stop, did not fit an inspection plate/ventilation grill where the flue was boxed in, and did not provide a carbon monoxide detector as required by the general safety requirements. Contrary to Regulation 5 of the General Product Safety Requirements.

Charge 4: That he did between 5th and 7th February 2018 engage in a banned commercial practice, namely by using the HETAS logo on documentation provided to Ralph Hillard implying he was HETAS registered when he was not. Contrary to Regulation 12 of the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Charge 5: That he did between 1st March 2017 and 22nd February 2018 recklessly engage in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence in that he failed to fulfil his contractual commitment to install and certify a rotating multi fuel stove at Maes Banadl Llanddeusant in accordance with local building regulations and to supply and fit a carbon monoxide detector and failing to provide the consumer with the required HETAS certificate of compliance, which was likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer. Contrary to Regulation 8(1) of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Thanks to the information supplied by consumers and our registrants, along with the investigations undertaken by HETAS staff we are able to work with the relevant enforcement agencies to bring about prosecutions, if you have concerns about a trader in your area please get in touch with HETAS. Our whistleblowing process enables you to inform us anonymously of your concerns.