A workman from Maidstone who tried to trick customers into a boiler scrappage scheme has been jailed for not being Gas Safety Registered

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A plumber from Maidstone has been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

David Hoskin, 53, from Highlands Road, was jailed for falsely telling customers that he was gas registered. He also used aggressive behaviour and misled people into believing they could claim £400 back under a boiler scrappage scheme.

Ten customers gave evidence against Mr Hoskin in the case brought by Kent County Council Trading Standards.

The court heard that Mr Hoskin had previously been prosecuted in 2005, by trading standards, for not being gas registered. He subsequently registered but his membership expired in July 2009.

Trading Standards warned Mr Hoskin that he must not conduct gas installations until he had re-registered. He failed to do so and was charged with offences between January and March 2010.

KCC area manager for Kent Trading Standards Richard Strawson said: “This was a serious case of a plumber who, despite a previous prosecution and warning, continued to engage in illegal practices to the detriment of consumers and legitimate businesses in Kent. We are grateful for the consumers’ help in highlighting the impact of Mr Hoskin’s work.”

Hoskin pleaded guilty to four counts under the Fraud Act 2006 and was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment on each count to run concurrently. He also pleaded guilty to a further 12 counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

It is a legal requirement to be Gas Safe Registered in order to carry out work on gas appliances.

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