Heating contractor cleared of hotel manslaughter
A heating contractor has been cleared of killing a hotel guest who died after breathing in carbon monoxide as he slept.
Yesterday, after an eight-day re-trial at Truro Crown Court, Jonathan Mingo, 37, was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Frederick Jackson following a re-trial.
But he was found guilty of one count of flouting gas safety regulations.
Mingo was first tried last April where, after a six-week hearing in Truro, the jury failed to reach a verdict.
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Father-of-two Mr Jackson, 52, from south Wales, was at the Great Western Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, on business in April 2008 when the gas leaked into his room through the bathroom window.
A flue pipe was fixed just below the bathroom window.
High levels of carbon monoxide pumped out of the boiler after someone altered the gas valve – police have never found the culprit.
St Austell Brewery, which owns the hotel, employed County Heating Maintenance Ltd to install the boiler in 2005 with Mingo in charge of design and installation.
His colleague Phillip David Hodge, 49, installed and commissioned the system.
At an earlier court hearing Hodge pleaded guilty to flouting gas safety rules.
Mingo, of Polmear Road, St Austell, and Hodge, of Cormorant Drive, St Austell, will be sentenced on Friday. The case was brought by police and the Health and Safety Executive.
A joint statement read: "This case has served to highlight the responsibilities of those who work in the gas industry and the importance of the duty of care owed to the public."
James Staughton, managing director of St Austell Brewery, said: "As a family firm, the tragic death of Mr Jackson touched each of us personally and our thoughts and condolences continue to be with his family and friends.
"St Austell Brewery and the Great Western Hotel hope that lessons can be learned following this tragedy to prevent any future accidents."