Belfast Telegraph

Gas fitter to face trial over carbon monoxide deaths

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

A gas fitter will stand trial accused of causing the deaths of two teenagers through carbon monoxide poisoning, a judge has ruled.

George Brown faces manslaughter charges following the deaths of Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson who had gone to a north coast apartment ahead of receiving exam results.

The 52-year-old also faces 15 counts of failure to protect non-employees, being unqualified to carry out work, failing to ensure competency, installing a gas appliance to an unacceptable standard and failing to test a connection.

The alleged breaches of gas safety regulations relate to work he carried out on a number of properties across the north coast in 2010, as well as a restaurant.

Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson, both from Newtownabbey, died after the gas leak occurred while they were staying in a holiday apartment in Castlerock, Co Londonderry, in August 2010.

Their friend Matthew Gaw, who was also in the seaside apartment at the time, survived. His parents and those of Neil McFerran were present at a preliminary inquiry at Coleraine courthouse yesterday.

Following submissions by the prosecution and Mr Brown's defence, Mr King said he was satisfied there was a prima facie case against Mr Brown.

Mr Brown, of Ballygawley Road, Aghadowey, was granted continuing bail. The judge adjourned the case until next month when Mr Brown will be arraigned at Laganside Courts in Belfast.

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