A ROGUE trader who lied that he was a certified stove installer left customers across Somerset fuming after leaving them with dangerous or badly-fitted appliances that they could not use.

Somerset Magistrates were told that Daniel Parks had pocketed hundreds of pounds from people living across Yeovil, Chard, Crewkerne and Shepton Mallet after claiming he held certification with various regulatory authorities.

On one occasion he even installed an appliance that was fitted so badly that it emitted the lethal gas carbon monoxide when it was lit.

When trading standards officials were called in by disgruntled customers they were unable to find any evidence that Park had ever been registered as a stove installer under a registered competent persons scheme.

He had also never registered with HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing Approvals Scheme) or undergone their training and was not permitted to use their logo on his business advertising.

He was also said to have failed to supply appropriate certification for installations he carried out, failed to rectify problems and failed to respond adequately to customers’ attempts to obtain remedy or redress.

Park, 26 of Langmead Square, Crewkerne, pleaded guilty to 15 separate allegations spanning a period of 18 months when he appeared in the dock before the court at Yeovil.

He admitted that between July 3, 2017 and April 2, 2018 in Somerset, being a trader, knowingly or recklessly engaged in a commercia practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of making a misleading action by stating to customers that they would receive a certificate for their woodburning stoves when this was not the case.

He also admitted allegations that he falsely claimed he was a trader who had been approved by HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing Approvals Scheme).

Park also admitted doing a misleading action by handing a business card to a customer stating he was a “registered/certified installer” when he was not.

He further admitted doing a misleading action, namely stating to a customer that his business had ceased trading when this was not the case and sent her an email saying his business was no longer in operation, intending to make a gain of £1,759.23 for himself.

Park also pleaded guilty to being engaged in a commercial practice that contained false information and was untruthful by stating on his website ‘Flaming Burners’ that he was a registered installer who could sign off installations and give consumers a certificate when this was not the case.

Rachel Holden, prosecuting for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards that Park operated under the names “Flaming Burners and “Flames and Flues”, fitting solid fuel burning stoves and log burners.

“During his time operating the companies he carried out substandard work throughout Somerset and failed to issue the correct certification,” she said.

“It is a legal requirement to have fuel burning stoves certified to demonstrate compliance with building regulations.

“This is important because the installation is checked to ensure that it is safe to use and has not damaged the fabric of the existing building. If it is not done then the homeowner can be liable.”

She said that Park made statements on Facebook about having all the legal documents, however when customers had an appliance fitted the paperwork did not arrive and they did not receive any certificates.

One customer likened his log burner as like having a car and not being able to drive it.

He said the only way forward for him now was to get it signed off by building control and said that if he had known Park was not registered he would not have had the work carried out by him.

Another customer who was caring for her sick husband and had an autistic son had a video of the lit fire sent to her by Park after saying he had installed it and told her the certificate would arrive in three weeks’ time.

A few weeks later she was told by another heating engineer that the flue “did not look quite right” and when it was lit it failed to draw and smoke was pouring out of the fire and a carbon monoxide alarm went off.

Park was asked to rectify the work but he never returned and a certificate was never received.

In a victim impact statement the customer said that Park had never tried to resolve the situation.

“We paid money for a service that never happened and we want him stopped so nobody else has to go through this,” she said.

“We are left with a constant reminder of something which we cannot use, and what has affected me the most is that he is still out there doing work.

“We feel totally conned and fear that someone will get injured or worse eventually.”

Miss Holden added that Park had failed to provide any explanation for the offences and he was also convicted for similar matters at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court in November 2018.

Defending solicitor Jeffrey Bannister said that Park was suffering with mental health issues and depression.

The magistrates said the offences were so serious that Park must be sent to Taunton Crown Court to be sentenced.

They adjourned the case until February 15 when he must appear before a judge and in the meantime he was released on unconditional bail.