No charges in boiler fumes death case

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MANSLAUGHTER charges will not be brought against the owners of hostel in which a man died from fumes given off by a faulty boiler.

But the owners of Albert Care Home in Front Street, Shotton Colliery, could face prosecution under gas safety regulations, an inquest heard.

The hearing was told that 57-year-old resident Raymond Iley died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which also killed about 20 budgies and canaries which he kept as pets in his room.

Mr Iley was found by a member of his family on January 4, last year.

Gas safety expert Howard Reed told the hearing at Chester-le-Street Magistrates’ Court the boiler’s flue was faulty.

Some repairs were done to the boiler a short time later.

North Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle adjourned the original inquest in March, this year, to allow the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) more time to investigate the death.

Detective Inspector Neil Edgar told yesterday’s resumed hearing: “The CPS review is now complete.

“It has been concluded there is insufficient evidence for a manslaughter prosecution.

“The case will now be referred to Durham County Council, which is the prosecuting authority for offences under the gas safety regulations.

“That handover is due to take place at a meeting next week.”

Mr Tweddle said: “This is one of those cases where it is appropriate for me to give a narrative verdict.

“I find the deceased died in room 24 of the building from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“The deadly gas came from a boiler in the cellar.

“It just remains for me to say I hope Durham County Council will look into this matter very closely.”