Tradesman fined for false ad claim

A PLUMBER has been fined £1,000 after being found guilty of two counts of false advertising. Paul Sharman, 53, of Freehold Road, Ipswich, falsely advertised himself as a CORGI registered plumber but had not passed the relevant exams or paid membership fees.

A PLUMBER has been fined £1,000 after being found guilty of two counts of false advertising.

Paul Sharman, 53, of Freehold Road, Ipswich, falsely advertised himself as a CORGI registered plumber but had not passed the relevant exams or paid membership fees.

Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards brought the prosecution against Mr Sharman following a complaint from one of his customers.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard that Sharman had stamped the customer's Landlords Gas Safety Record stating he was a CORGI registered plumber, but the organisation confirmed that Sharman had never been registered with it.

The court was also told Sharman's business card falsely carried the CORGI sign and a fictitious registration number he claimed came from a previous employer, but CORGI registration cannot be transferred.

Peter Monk, the council's portfolio holder for public protection said: "When checking something as important as gas appliances, where the consequences could be fatal if they are poorly maintained, it is essential you deal with a highly trained person.

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"By falsely advertising, Mr Sharman was gaining an unfair advantage over CORGI registered plumbers by not paying for registration and training. CORGI were also unable to track his work to make sure it wasn't putting customers at risk through substandard work."

Sharman did make enquiries in 2001 about becoming CORGI registered, but after taking the first course found it too time consuming and expensive.

He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 prosecution costs.

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