Two landlords and a gas service engineer have been fined a total of £19,000 after a mother and her six-year-old daughter were severely affected by carbon monoxide.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently brought a case against brothers Robert and David Watts, both of Woodlands, Southampton, at the city’s magistrates court. As landlords of the property where the couple were living they were repeatedly warned that the boiler needed servicing over a period of almost four years and failed to act.
Each man pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Robert Watts was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500. David Watts was also fined £7,000 and he too was ordered to pay costs of £4,500.
David MacDonald of Hythe, Southampton, was the property’s gas service engineer, and declared the boiler safe to use three times when it was not. He pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching regulations 5(3) and 6(2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 on dates between 6 April 2005 and 3 December 2007.
He was fined £4,500 for the first three offences - breaching regulation 5 (3) - and also fined £500 for breaching regulation 6 (2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. McDonald was ordered to pay costs of £548.
The court heard that on 2 December 2007, Motoko Riley and her daughter Emily were at their home in Portswood Road, Southampton. Emily became ill and began to drift in and out of consciousness and Mrs Riley started to suffer bad headaches and began vomiting.
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