A judge at Belfast Crown Court yesterday took the unusual step of issuing general safety advice to homeowners ahead of the sentencing of a man in connection with the incorrect installation of a gas boiler, which resulted in the deaths of two teenagers.
The judge said the deaths of 18-year-olds Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson from carbon monoxide poisoning, in August 2010, should act as a warning to prompt others to install carbon monoxide detector devices in homes and other properties, to "get peace of mind".
BBC Northern Ireland reported that his comments came after the court heard that the pair's death, at a caravan in Castlerock, had been caused by a faulty boiler flue, and also listened to evidence from a gas appliance and fitter safety training expert.
The expert, David Taylor, pointed out that such safety devices were available, and although they were used mainly for "commercial application", they could be bought for fitting in other types of property as well.
George Brown, 52, from Aghadowey, pleaded guilty to two charges of manslaughter at a hearing in January, and sentencing was deferred until today (Thursday).
Mr Brown's defence barrister said that while his client had not personally installed the boiler, he had pleaded guilty "on the basis he should not have sent out someone who was an unqualified operative to do this work".