UK & World News
Gas Fitter Jailed Over Woman's Boiler Death
A gas fitter cried silently in the dock as he was sentenced to three years in jail for the manslaughter of a millionaire publisher's daughter.
Andrew Hartley, 37, botched the installation of a boiler, which caused 24-year-old Zoe Anderson to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The neuroscience graduate was found collapsed on the shower room floor of her father's home in Sion Hill - one of Bath's most exclusive addresses - on December 28, 2010.
She was the daughter of Chris Anderson, founder of Future Publishing, which is based in Bath and publishes a range of specialist magazines such as Total Film and Classic Rock.
During last month's trial the court heard Miss Anderson died within 30 minutes of being exposed to leaked fumes after Hartley had failed to secure the flue pipes with screws two weeks earlier.
A jury found Hartley guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence by a majority verdict of 10 to 2.
After an unblemished 20-year career in the gas and plumbing industry he admitted he had contravened gas safety regulations on this occasion, but denied he was "grossly negligent".
Mr Justice Ford QC pointed to Hartley's record as "long, good and wholly respectable" and added that it was "not uncommon" for such crimes to be committed by people of good character.
Bristol Crown Court heard Hartley has been "overwhelmed" with guilt and has been having counselling for depression.
The husband and father-of-two was described by the judge as having "no self-pity" in his approach to the tragedy and of being "acutely aware" of the suffering he had inflicted on the Anderson family, as well as his own.
Hartley will serve half of his three-year prison term, which the judge added was "no measure of Zoe's life".
After handing down his sentence, the judge offered some words of compassion for Hartley, saying: "When released I hope paying the price will be therapeutic and I hope you will feel ready to rejoin your family and get on with your life."