Landlady admits gas safety breach

MDL091230A2 - Stanley common the Brick Yard
MDL091230A2 - Stanley common the Brick Yard

The landlady of a Stanley Common house, where a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning, has admitted seven breaches of gas safety.

Dr Victoria Martindale pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court on Wednesday (October 3) to seven breaches, including failure to maintain a gas boiler at the property in The Brickyard.

The 39-year-old, whose address was given as The Brickyard, where the offences occurred, also admitted failure to check three other gas appliances between September 23, 2005 and the date Stephen Newton died on December 29, 2009.

Dr Martindale is due to appear at the same court on November 12 for sentencing

Mr Newton, 51, died from carbon monoxide poisoning after reconnecting a condemned boiler at the property in October 2009 becase it was too cold, an inquest at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court found last year.

Evidence given during the inquest showed that the boiler was emitting ‘extremely high levels of carbon monoxide’.

Firefighter Damien West, who tested the boiler as part of investigations into the incident, told the hearing that he had never seen such high levels of the gas build-up so quickly in all his career.

Mr Newton and partner Susan Davies moved into the property in 2005.

She was found unconscious by paramedics but survived.

Dr Martindale told the inquest that she had never arranged for a qualified gas engineer to attend the property and did not know that the boiler had been condemned and disconnected.

“If the annual gas inspection had been carried out, in all probability Mr Newton’s death would have been prevented,” the jury concluded.

“We have found that on the balance of probability, that failure to maintain or repair the boiler was a contributing factor to Mr Newton’s death.”