A wood-burning stove installer has been prosecuted for a second time after he falsely claimed he was registered with industry body HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approval).
Dylan Cenydd Jones, 42, of Parrish Place, Senghenydd, admitted five charges under the Fraud Act 2006 and was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for each offence. The sentences will run at the same time.
He was also sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, for drink-driving, driving without insurance and dangerous driving. On July 2, Newport Magistrates’ Court was told how Jones was caught on the A468 Nantgarw Hill by South Wales Police on March 24 this year. He was almost three times the legal limit with 229 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and was disqualified from driving for 26 months.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards brought the fraud charges against Jones in relation to offences between June 2016 and September 2018.
In four of the cases Jones, trading as Castle Fire and Stoves, which used to trade from premises on Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly, falsely claimed he was an approved HETAS engineer or could provide customer with HETAS certificates. In another case, Jones claimed he was qualified to fit a gas fire when he was not.
In addition to the suspended sentences, he was also ordered to pay £1,981 in compensation to his fraud victims.
Jones was first prosecuted by Caerphilly County Borough Council last year, again for fraud offences relating to HETAS certification. At a hearing on January 12, 2018, Jones was fined a total of £3,920, ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,518.75, compensation to consumers of £1,538.40 and a victim surcharge of £73.
On that occasion, Newport Magistrates’ Court was told he had previously been registered and that while none of the installations were unsafe, distress and financial loss was caused to the customers he had misled.
A council spokeswoman said the most recent prosecution was a result of five of Jones’ customers contacting Trading Standards following publicity of the first court case.
Cllr Eluned Stenner, the council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “Ensuring the safety of our residents is of utmost importance. Heating systems, if not installed by a suitably qualified engineer, can pose a serious danger to households.
“The council encourages residents to check the HETAS or Gas Safety Register to ensure that any engineers they employ to carry out work in their home hold the appropriate qualifications.”