Coroner halts man’s inquest

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A CORONER adjourned an inquest to refer evidence back to police.

 During the rare move, Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle said a question hangs over whether “serious criminal offences” caused the death of Raymond Iley, 57.

 Mr Iley was found dead next to 20 of his pet budgerigars at the Albert Guest House, Front Street, in Shotton, on January 4, last year.

 At yesterday’s inquest, Home Office pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper said a “very high level” of carbon monoxide had been found in My Iley’s system.

 Howard Reed, a gas safety consultant and qualified incident investigator, said he had seen photographs of a boiler in the guest house’s cellar, which indicated it was in a poor condition and badly ventilated.

 He added the boiler had had work carried out on it between Mr Iley’s death and the time he was called in to inspect it seven weeks later.

 He said this “hindered” his investigation.

 Dr Tweddle adjourned the inquest.

 He said: “Some evidence has given me cause for concern as to whether any serious criminal offences have occurred.”