Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Ipswich/Hadleigh: Heating engineer’s faulty service caused fatal poisoning of Annette Coe, 72, jury told

08:56 18 June 2014

Annette Coe who died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Annette Coe who died of carbon monoxide poisoning

A Suffolk heating engineer’s negligent failure to properly service the boiler of a 72-year-old customer was the cause of her death from carbon monoxide poisoning, a court has heard.

Annette Coe, mother of William Coe who runs Coes stores in Suffolk and Essex, was found collapsed at her Ipswich home in December 2012.

Peter Sykes, 68, a self-employed servicing engineer from Castle Road, Hadleigh, appeared before Norwich Crown Court yesterday charged with her manslaughter.

He also faces three counts of health and safety failings involving Mrs Coe’s boiler and those of customers in Raydon and Woodbridge.

Sykes, who denies all the charges, had serviced Mrs Coe’s oil heating system for about 40 years.

He carried out the last service at her St Edmunds Road property on October 19, 2012 – just 47 days before she was found collapsed and unconscious by her son.

William Carter, prosecuting, told the court that Sykes’ failure to clean the flue of Mrs Coe’s oil-fired heater caused a blockage, which resulted in “poisonous gas circulating around her home at fatal levels”.

“The defendant’s failure was grossly negligent to the extent, the crown alleges, that his actions amount to the criminal offence of manslaughter,” he said.

The court heard that two of Mrs Coe’s daughters, Sarah Licence and Bridget Coe, had raised the alarm on the evening of December 5.

They became concerned after their mother, who lived alone, failed to answer the phone.

Alerted by Bridget, William Coe arrived at the property at around
11pm.

He noticed the atmosphere in the kitchen seemed “hazy” and
entered to find his mother lying unconscious on the floor, the court was told.

She was taken to hospital, where doctors described the level of carbon monoxide as “extremely high” and said nothing could be done. She died on December 6.

Investigations carried out the following day revealed the flue was “completely blocked” with almost 11kg of debris.

Mr Carter, reporting the inspectors’ conclusions, said the defendant’s service had fallen “far short of the expected standards of competency”.

Inspections of other boilers serviced by Sykes also revealed shortcomings, leading to two further health and safety charges.

Mr Carter said an oil boiler
belonging to Melvyn Smith in Raydon was “declared immediately unsafe”.

And a Mexico gas boiler, which Sykes had been servicing for Mary Blyton at her bungalow in Woodbridge for the past 15 years, was classified as “not simply unsafe, but as immediately dangerous”.

Sykes, who is not on the gas safe register “should not have had anything to with the gas boiler at all”, the court heard.

During police interview after Mrs Coe’s death, Sykes was said to have claimed he carried out a proper service and cleaned the flue.

The trial continues.

Aerial shots of Ipswich Waterfront - courtesy of www.skycameast.co.uk

A deer that was trapped underneath a wooden structure near Ipswich Waterfront tonight has been rescued.

Zena Gravener, with Patrick Last, reignites her battle with Suffolk County Council over a

A 73-year-old woman has reignited a campaign to push Suffolk County Council (SCC) into cutting back a “dangerous” grass verge near her home.

The A14 near Stowupland

A crash involving two vehicles blocked the eastbound A14 at Stowmarket earlier this afternoon.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

A number of trains – starting with the 16.00 Colchester Town to Colchester – have been terminated or cancelled this afternoon due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

Trail makers are needed to keep an eye on the pigs during the summer months

Friendly faces are needed to greet visitors to Ipswich this summer and ensure the interactive Pigs Gone Wild trail is a success.

Firefighters from Colchester were called to a blaze on a boat.

Two fire crews from Colchester were called to a boat moored on the quay in the town after reports of a fire on Saturday morning.

Clacton lifeboat was launched during the drama at the pier.

All four emergency services were called to a drama on Clacton Pier on Friday afternoon when someone was seen sitting on the wrong side of the fence.

The site earmarked for 175 homes in Stowupland.

The approval of 175 homes on the edge of a Suffolk village has prompted fears that planning shortfalls highlighted in the decision could leave more communities at risk from “predatory” applications.

Mark Newton has been appointed the new chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council

A district council has appointed its new chairman.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24