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Gas fitter jailed following carbon monoxide deaths

A jail sentence of two years has been handed to a gas fitter who admitted causing the deaths of two young men as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson, both aged 18, were killed by noxious fumes leaking from a new gas boiler at a holiday apartment in Castlerock, County Derry, in 2010. A third teenager was also incapacitated by the toxic gas, but despite being injured, he survived the incident.

Part of the boiler's flue – which had been installed by gas fitter George Brown’s company – became dislodged and allowed the carbon monoxide to leak into the flat. As it is odourless, the men were not aware of the leak until it was too late. It was found that a section of the flue was completely separated and the join between the two sections of flue was not secured as it should have been in order to hold it in position. The failure to secure the flue pipe with the required four screws was described as "sheer laziness" by Mr Justice Weir.

The judge sentenced Mr Brown to four years for two counts of manslaughter – two of which he will spend in jail and two of which he will spend on licence – and fined him