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Landlord given suspended prison sentence over gas failings

20 October 2016

A Durham landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence following his failure to maintain or check the gas fittings in one of his properties.

A gas fire with back boiler at a tenanted property in Wilton Street, Middlesbrough, was found to be immediately dangerous when examined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

HSE prosecuted Christopher Hobaiter after it was found that the appliance was leaking deadly carbon monoxide into the ground floor sitting room. Windows were sealed shut and wall ventilation grills had been blocked over for some time, exposing the tenant to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Christopher Hobaiter of Lyndon Avenue, Hartburn, Stockton on Tees pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36(2) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to a 26 week prison sentence suspended for 24 months with £1904.02 costs by Teesside Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, HM inspector of Health and Safety, Richard Bulmer commented: “Low level carbon monoxide poisoning can be severe and debilitating and almost always fatal at higher levels.

“Falling asleep in the vicinity of a carbon monoxide producing gas fire is highly likely to lead to death.”