Gas fitter David Stott has been ordered to complete community service after his substandard installation of a new boiler at a property put the inhabitants’ lives in danger.
In 2013, Mr Stott was employed to install a new boiler in the kitchen of a farm cottage near Montrose.
There was already a flue exit for a boiler chimney, due to the fact that a previous boiler had been located in the same position, and after the installation he showed the cottage’s owner and the tenant’s wife how it operated.
However, the tenant couple, as well as their pregnant daughter and her 20-month-old son, started to feel unwell and began suffering from headaches.
The fact that carbon monoxide poisoning had been responsible was only flagged up when the tenant was discovered in bed, in the middle of what appeared to be a form of seizure.
After being taken to hospital by an ambulance, the carbon monoxide level in his blood was found to be 33.6 per cent.
Any test result over 15 per cent is classed as serious poisoning.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation highlighted that the boiler’s chimney had not been correctly aligned with the outlet, and no allowances were made for the fact that the cottage had an LPG source.
Due to the gas fitter’s failings, carbon monoxide was released into the kitchen and other parts of the property, in potentially lethal volumes.
One of the couple’s dogs had to be put down as a result of damage from poisoning, and they have now left the property due to psychological and sleeping problems.
David Stott pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(2) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 200 hours of community payback, which is to be completed in a period of 12 months.