Gas fitter's regrets over death

24 Feb 2012

A gas fitter has told a court that he felt "awful" that his work installing a boiler led to the death of a millionaire's daughter from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Andrew Hartley, 36, said he could not explain why he had not fitted the boiler properly.

Hartley is on trial at Bristol Crown Court accused of manslaughter by gross negligence after Zoe Anderson, 24, the daughter of magazine tycoon Chris Anderson, died when overcome by gas fumes.

Miss Anderson was found dead by her boyfriend in the shower room at her father's home in Lansdown, Bath, on December 29, 2010, nearly two weeks after the boiler had been installed.

The prosecution claims Hartley - who was paid more than £2,000 - did a "rushed" and "botch" job, failing to secure the flue pipe correctly, if at all.

They allege that instead of the boiler fumes going down the flue pipe to the outside, they were being blown into Mr Anderson's garage.

It was first thought that Miss Anderson, a neuroscience graduate, had slipped and banged her head in the en-suite shower room, but later it was found she collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hartley told jurors that he admitted a charge of contravening gas safety regulations, which reflected his failure to secure the flue pipe with screws.

However, he denied he was grossly negligent during the installation on December 16.

The defendant, of Bath New Road, Radstock, Somerset, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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