Firm guilty of safety breach after St John’s Wood families suffer carbon monoxide poisoning

11:02 10 December 2012

A firm which hired bungling builders who left a boiler pumping deadly carbon monoxide into a flat during a botched renovation is facing an unlimited fine.

Contractors employed by Apollo Property Services covered over a chimney while replacing felt covering on the roof of a block of flats in the Abbey Estate off Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, the Old Bailey heard.

Two families had to be rushed to hospital following the blunder. They believed they were coming down with flu, but within hours two people had collapsed and others were experiencing severe symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The company, registered in Church Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, denied failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to persons not in their employment, but were found guilty following a trial.

Judge John Bevan QC adjourned sentencing on Thursday until December 17 and asked to be provided with a breakdown of the company’s turnover, profits and directors’ salaries. Bosses may also be ordered to pay compensation to the two families.

Apollo was the principle contractor employed to refurbish the Camden Council-owned Exonbury low-rise block on March 17, 2008.

“In simple terms, they covered over where a chimney had been,” prosecutor Claire Harden told the court.

“It was live and it was used by a boiler present in one of the flats. When it was covered the boiler couldn’t work properly. There was nowhere for gases to escape, other than back into the flat.”

One of the residents woke at 1am with a severe headache, collapsing in the kitchen when she went to get some painkillers, the court heard. her husband and son were also affected, but managed to open a window allowing some of the fumes to escape.

Speaking after the case Tony Leach, health and safety director for Apollo, said: “We fully accept the decision of the jury and would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to the families affected by this incident.

“Safety is our number one priority and this was an isolated incident involving work carried out by a subcontractor operating outside of our approved methods. We have carried out a full review of all our procedures and training to ensure that all staff, and subcontractors, working on our schemes meet the high standards we expect.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 12, 2016
Undated handout file photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of Tarik Hassane, one of the men accused of plotting to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London, who has dramatically changed his plea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday February 12, 2016. The first defendant, Tarik Hassane, 22, admitted conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts as the defence was about to start in the Old Bailey trial. See PA story COURTS Terror. Photo credit should read: Crown Prosecution Service/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A 22-year-old accused of planning to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London has dramatically changed his plea at the Old Bailey today.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Simpson-Kent was captured in Ghana after fleeing the UK following the death of his partner Sian Blake and their two children (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

Sian Blake’s partner has been charged with the murders of the ex-EastEnders actress and their two children, police have said.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Police are keen to identify this man (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are asking south London women to be vigilant if travelling alone and on foot in the early hours, after three women were attacked within four miles of each other.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police are investigating attempted child abductions

A man has been charged after reports that a number of schoolchildren were approached by someone impersonating a police officer in Hornsey.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police would like to speak with this man (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A 27-year-old man was punched in the face and pummelled as he lay on the ground in a sustained and unprovoked attack at a Bloomsbury bus stop.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
The two men police want to identify

A horrifying attack in Shoreditch has left a man with a fractured skull after he was beaten with wooden stakes.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Read more
Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport