Lack of warning of risk from fumes led to Newquay hotel guest death, court told.

Story from ThisIsCornwall
 
A father-of-two who slept as fatal levels of carbon monoxide were pumped into his hotel room, died as a result of "shoddy" workmanship and criminal negligence, a court heard.

Frederick Jackson was killed after staying overnight at the Great Western Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, in April 2008. Experts later found a flue terminal connected to a faulty boiler in the hotel basement spewing out noxious fumes was positioned directly below Mr Jackson’s open bathroom window.

Yesterday, Corgi-registered contractor Jonathan Mark Mingo appeared at Truro Crown Court for the first day of his trial. He denies one count of manslaughter and one count of flouting Health and Safety at Work regulations.

The jury heard how Mr Jackson, from South Wales, was visiting Newquay to canvas potential customers for his home insulation business.

When managers used the master key to enter the room, they found Mr Jackson’s lifeless body was slumped against the door.

Medics called to the scene to try to resuscitate Mr Jackson later reported feeling dizzy, prompting fire crews to investigate any carbon monoxide leak at the hotel.

What they discovered was "dangerously high levels" of the poisonous gas, and immediately ordered the hotel’s 95 guests to be evacuated. It was then that firefighters spotted the flue terminal, which appeared to be spewing "a white smoke" into an open bathroom window in the room where Mr Jackson had been sleeping. The court heard that, in December 2005, contractor County Heating Maintenance Ltd was called to the site to replace its boiler. But, after finding the flue did not clear a window to the hotel, Mingo told a colleague to hammer two nails through the window frame, preventing it from opening.

But when the hotel went under refurbishment in 2007, the window was replaced with a uPVC model, which could be opened directly above the flue pipe.

Mingo, of Polmear Road in St Austell, later told police he had instructed hotel staff not to open the window because of safety concerns.

But prosecutor Michael Fitton QC accused Mingo of lying. The trial continues.

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