Rogue spark narrowly avoids jail for misuse of ELECSA logo

Steven Mitchell who traded as CCC Electrical was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 17th April 2015 to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

He was ordered to do 260 hours’ unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £3,400. Mitchell had pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at an earlier hearing.

Mitchell’s details were passed to West Yorkshire Trading Standards by ELECSA following a complaint from a householder in February 2014. Mitchell had advertised himself as ELECSA registered despite personally withdrawing from the scheme in 2011.

Further investigations revealed that Mitchell was also not a TrustMark member, a government endorsed scheme to help people find reliable and trustworthy tradesmen.

Trading Standards contacted a number of Mitchell’s customers and found they had been misled into taking out contracts with Steven Mitchell because they believed he was certified by ELECSA and endorsed by TrustMark.

Mitchell carried advertisements in the Normanton and District Advertiser with the ELECSA and TrustMark logos. Quotations and business cards also carried these logos and Mitchell falsely issued certification to three customers for work carried out.

Two of his customers had installations checked by a qualified electrician and, in both cases, problems were discovered, one of which could have resulted in a fire.

David Lodge, head of Trading Standards in West Yorkshire, said, ‘This shows how seriously the courts have taken this matter. The public needs to be certain that any electrical work done on their property is undertaken by a skilled and competent electrician who is properly qualified to do the job. The consequences of faulty electrical installations can have potentially devastating effects.’

Emma Clancy, CEO of Certsure, which operates the ELECSA brand, added, ‘This sends out the message that anyone thinking about misusing our logo will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts.’

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