A tradesperson has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after impersonating a registered engineer, and leaving gas appliances in a dangerous state.

Southend Magistrates’ Court heard how Robert Ruszczak undertook the servicing of five gas appliances in May and September 2016 at a hotel and restaurant in Harlow. A subsequent investigation by a Gas Safe Regional Inspector showed that Mr Rusczak had left a gas wok range in a condition that presented an immediate risk to people and property.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Robert Ruszczak was not Gas Safe-registered at the time he conducted this work. Mr Ruszczak had fraudulently used the details of a Gas Safe-registered business, and used the Gas Safe logo on his clothing and vehicles, to deliberately mislead customers that he was competent to undertake gas work.

Mr Ruszcsak had also ignored previous warnings from HSE not to conduct gas work without gaining the necessary competencies.

Robert Ruszczak of Plaw Hatch Close, Bishops Stortford pleaded guilty to six breaches under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

HSE Inspector Edward Crick said: “Robert Ruszczak undertook gas work which he knew he wasn’t registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met, to prevent injury and loss of life.”