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Bolton landlords in court after baby suffers carbon monoxide poisoning

Two Bolton landlords have been fined after a four-month-old baby and both his parents were taken to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr and Mrs Mehboob and Suraiya Bobat were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found four gas appliances at a property on Bowness Road were unsafe, and that they had failed to arrange an annual gas safety check as the law requires.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard a couple and their baby were treated in hospital overnight for high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The HSE investigation found a gas-powered water heater in the kitchen should only have been used for a maximum of five minutes at a time as it did not have a flue.

However, it was connected to the washing machine as well as the kitchen sink and had begun to emit high levels of carbon monoxide due to its overuse.

The heater was classified as ‘immediately dangerous’ by a gas engineer, along with a gas heater in the front bedroom.

A gas fire in the lounge and gas boiler in the kitchen were also found to be ‘at risk’ of causing carbon monoxide poisoning.

The court was told that Mr and Mrs Bobat were asked to provide a copy of the latest Gas Safety Certificate to prove a registered gas fitter had inspected the property in the past year, but they admitted they did not have one.

Mehboob Bobat, 47, and Suraiya Bobat, 46, of St Helens Road in Bolton, were each sentenced to 80 hours of community service with unpaid work and each ordered to pay prosecution costs of £720 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

They were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Mike Sebastian said: “A young couple and their baby son were needlessly made ill for several months because Mr and Mrs Bobat failed in their legal duties as landlords to arrange an annual gas safety check.

“It’s shocking that all four of the gas appliances in the property had the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Landlords must take their responsibilities seriously and make sure houses they rent out are safe for their tenants. We will continue to take legal action when landlords ignore the law.”

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