Reputable plumber blasts rogue ex-workmate for using his picture on website
A reputable Wigan plumber has blasted a former workmate for using his picture on a website that landed the latter on the wrong side of the law.
Danny Bradshaw was horrified to discover that Rhys Lavin had taken an image from Danny’s portfolio of him fixing a boiler and used it to illustrate Lavin's company PHET Ltd’s work.
Lavin was this week branded an “unscrupulous trader” by council chiefs after admitting in court that he had falsely claimed to be Gas Safe-registered and “NICEIC-approved” on the YELL.COM website when he wasn’t.
In researching the case, WiganToday visited the PHET website and saw that it was continuing to claim it was Gas Safe-registered. To illustrate the article online and in the Wigan Post, it published in good faith a picture from the site.
Now it has emerged that the image has nothing to do with PHET.
Mr Bradshaw runs DPB Plumbing and Heating and has been Gas Safe-registered for four years.
He today WiganToday: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the picture linked to what had been done.
“I do know Rhys and have worked with him in the past but the picture of me working on the boiler is from my portfolio and has nothing to do with him or his company.
“I have all the proper registrations and have a good customer base. There are loads of people contacting me about this court case now and it’s not on. I am really angry with Rhys.”
The Wigan Post and WiganToday have also apologised to Mr Bradshaw and DPB for inadvertently using an incorrect image with the article and are happy now to clarify the matter.
Lavin, a 27-year-old of Wigan Road, Hindley, was prosecuted as an individual and faced three identical charges as the representative of the company also.
The quality of the work completed has not been called into question in the case.
But despite the guilty pleas, the company’s websites today still carried the following blurb in answer to the question “Why choose Phet?”: “Our friendly, efficient and fully qualified team of engineers are Gas Safe-registered, trained to the highest standards and proud of their reputation for high quality and professional workmanship.”
Among its services the firm says its carries out new boiler installations, boiler repair, central heating installations and issuing gas safety certificates.
Julie Middlehurst, service manager for regulatory services at Wigan Council said: “Our trading standards team work hard to support and protect residents from unscrupulous traders and will where necessary, take action through the courts.
“Wigan Council’s Good Trader Scheme has around 200 reputable local businesses and we would encourage residents to use this scheme if considering having work done to their property.”
Residents can visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/goodtrader for more information or ring 03454 040506.
Justices granted Lavin bail pending his appearance before a Bolton Crown Court judge for sentencing on October 22 on condition that he reside at his Wigan Road address.