Landlord cleared of death charges after toxic fumes kill tenant

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THE family of a man found dead in his bedsit where a carbon monoxide leak was discovered, have branded justice a farce after a court ruled the landlord of the property is not responsible for the death.

Ray Iley was found dead at the Albert Guest House in Shotton Colliery, beside 20 of his budgies, on January 4, 2011.

Consett Magistrates’ Court decided guest house owner Kaiser Choudry did not cause the death, even though the boiler in his property was leaking carbon monoxide and had not been serviced for two years. Choudry, 48, of Atkinson Grove, Shotton Colliery, admitted failing as a landlord to ensure a boiler and flue were maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk of injury, and a charge of failing to carry out landlord’s safety checks.

The court was told a faulty flue caused the boiler to emit seven parts per million of carbon monoxide, which is not a fatal concentration.

Mr Iley’s body was found to contain 600 parts per million.

The bench ordered Choudry to pay £6,030.75 in fines and costs at £100 per week.

Speaking after the case, Mr Iley’s brother Brian, 58, said: “We regard that as a farcical judgment.

“The only thing in that building that could produce carbon monoxide was the boiler, and carbon monoxide is what killed Raymond.

“The family has been badly let down by the court, and this will cause a lot more heartache and distress.”

The bench made a defence costs order in favour of Choudry.