A plumber has been jailed for a year for carrying out work he was not legally allowed to do, and falsely claiming his business was registered with various trade organisations and associations.
Wade Jeffery, from Bristol, appeared in Bristol Crown Court last week and pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, and three counts of engaging in an unfair commercial practice. The offences all took place during 2010.
Jeffery ran several different businesses, including A Wades Heating, All Weather Heating, and Harrison Heating. He falsely claimed that these businesses were Gas Safe Registered, and members of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and the Oil Fired Technical Association (OFTEC).
The court was told that Jeffery used aliases, and carried out work for consumers and landlords that he was not legally allowed to undertake.
Local Trading Standards officials began investigating Jeffery in December 2009, and posed as consumers to ask Jeffery to work on a gas boiler. The prosecution said he drove to the job, having been disqualified from driving. He was then arrested, and further enquiries found he had invoices totalling £15,000 for work he had carried out through his various companies.
The court also heard Jeffery had previous convictions for drug possession, robbery, shoplifting and threatening behaviour. On one occasion, the Prosecution stated Jeffery arrived at a customer's home smelling of alcohol and, after falling off a worktop, punched the boiler he was meant to be working on.
Sentencing him to a year in prison, Judge Simon Darwall-Smith said: "Members of the public are plagued by people like you, putting them potentially at risk. You have an appalling record of dishonesty, using 24 aliases and providing nine different birth dates to the authorities."
Members of the public who believe they may have had work carried out by Jeffery are being urged to contact their local trading standards department.