Guest house owners denies faulty boiler had anything to do with carbon monoxide death (From The Northern Echo)
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Guest house owners denies faulty boiler had anything to do with carbon monoxide death
A GUEST house owner has admitted failing to ensure a boiler and its equipment was maintained – but says the faulty equipment had nothing to do with the death of one of his residents from poisonous gas, a court was told today (Thursday, October 10).
Kaiser Javeed Choudry's appearance before magistrates in Consett, County Durham, follows the death of Raymond Iley, 57, at Albert Guest House, in Front Street, Shotton Colliery, near Peterlee, on January 4, 2011.
Mr Choudry, 46, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to ensure the boiler and flue in the basement of the building were maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent the risk of injury, between March 2009 and March 2011.
But this was on the basis the boiler had nothing to do with Mr Iley’s death, which was subject of a trial of issue today.
Catherine Burgess, prosecuting, said the alarm to the potential of carbon monoxide was raised when a paramedic noticed 20 caged budgerigars had died alongside Mr Iley.
When firefighters arrived they found no carbon monoxide in the property, but it could have been present earlier, she added.
Experts found defects with the boiler in the basement below Mr Iley’s room, as well as inadequate ventilation and a flue ending that was lower than required. Ms Burgess said a coroner had ruled Mr Iley had died from carbon monoxide poisoning – the only possible source being the boiler.
She added the gas could have migrated through holes in the basement ceiling, though a smoke test did not show up.
Giving evidence, Mr Choudry said the basement had been ventilated by an open window.
He said he had worked in his office directly above the boiler on the day concerned and had suffered no ill effects. He added that he had also been in the basement on several occasions and the boiler was working properly.
Chris Morrison, defending, said: “The prosecution has failed to produce any evidence whatsoever that shows a causal link between any emissions from the boiler and the poisoning of anybody.”
Mr Choudry of Atkinson Grove, Shotton Colliery, has also admitted failing to ensure the boiler and flue were checked for safety for more than 12 months since the last inspection in March 2008.
Magistrates will return their finding tomorrow (Friday) morning.