Man charged over carbon monoxide deaths

A man whose partner and her daughter died last year from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on their boat has been charged with manslaughter through gross negligence.

In April last year Kelly Webster, 36, and Lauren Thornton, 10, of Leyland, Lancashire, were airlifted from Windermere to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where they subsequently died. Ms Webster's partner Matthew Eteson, 39, also from Leyland, was taken to hospital but was discharged. Cumbria Police said at the time it was likely the mother and child died of gas poisoning.

It is believed that Matthew Eteson had retrofitted a generator on the boat to provide electric power and that a make-shift exhaust he installed had been leaking fumes into the boat. Unfortunately, it appears they did not have a carbon monoxide alarm in the cabin.

The BBC have reported that Mr. Eteson has now been charged over the deaths at South Lakeland Magistrates Court.

The original story was reported here on the BBC website last year.

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Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

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