Gas fitter Andrew Hartley guilty over Zoe Anderson’s death
A gas fitter from Somerset has been found guilty of killing a woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning because of a badly fitted boiler.
Andrew Hartley, 36, of Bath New Road in Radstock, had denied the manslaughter of Zoe Anderson, 24, but was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court.
She was found dead by her boyfriend in the shower room at her father’s home in Lansdown, Bath, on 29 December 2010.
Hartley had installed the boiler two weeks earlier. The jury found Hartley guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence by a majority of 10 to two, following a two-week trial.
The verdict reflects the severity of [Hartley’s] failings and sends a clear message to all tradesmen
Det Insp Neil Beament Avon and Somerset Police
He had already admitted a charge of breaching gas safety regulations by failing to secure the boiler flue pipe with screws.
Speaking outside court, Miss Anderson’s mother Lucy Evans, said she had found forgiveness “hard work”.
“But the Bible promises me that the truth will set us free,” she said. “So I have prayed that our hearts and minds will be set free now. Free to enjoy the fabulous memories we have of Zoe, free to forgive, free to nurture and help each other and to rebuild our lives.”
Miss Anderson’s mother Lucy Evans
‘Duty of care’
After the case Det Insp Neil Beament, who led the investigation, said it had been “a tragic, tragic case”.
“Andrew Hartley is a professional tradesman with all the relevant qualifications,” he said.
“The verdict reflects the severity of his failings and sends a clear message to all tradesmen in relation to the duty of care they owe all their customers.
“The case also highlights the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and I would urge all householders to consider the installation of appropriate devices.”
A spokeswoman for the CPS said Ms Anderson was a young woman who faced a life “full of promise”.
“Her death is a tragedy for all those who loved her and would never have happened if the boiler fitted by Hartley had been properly connected.”
Miss Anderson was the daughter of Chris Anderson, millionaire founder of Bath-based publishers Future Publishing.
Hartley, who was released on bail, is due to be sentenced in April.