No prosecutions over 'faulty cooker' deaths

Richard Smith and Kevin Branton
Image caption Richard Smith, left, and Kevin Branton died at a property in Saltash in 2010

There will be no prosecutions over the deaths of five people from Cornwall linked to faulty cookers.

Maureen Cook, 47, Audrey Cook, 86, and Alfred, known as John, Cook, 90, died in 2013 in Camborne from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Kevin Branton, 32, and Richard Smith, 30, died in 2010 in Saltash.

At a pre-inquest hearing coroner Geraint Williams said there would be no criminal prosecutions in relation to the deaths.

A 2012 inquest into Mr Branton and Mr Smith's deaths concluded they died accidentally but the conclusion was later quashed by the High Court.

In light of this decision, a further inquest was ordered.

Previous hearings were told the grills on Mr Branton and Mr Smith's Flavel cookers produced high levels of carbon monoxide.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said this was a "known" manufacturing defect and the grills should not be operated with the door closed.

Beko made the defective cookers - which it also sold under the Leisure and Flavel brands - at a factory in Turkey.

The previous inquest heard Beko became aware of the safety risk in November 2008.

While most of the faulty cookers had been traced, but nearly 7,000 had not.

Image caption John, Audrey and Maureen Cook were found dead in their mobile home in 2013

There has not yet been an inquest into the deaths of the Cook family.

The new inquest is likely to take place at Truro Magistrates' Court in May or June 2019.

Mr Williams said evidence would be heard about "who knew what and when" and information about the actions taken by Beko and others over the recall.

Peter Taheri, representing the families, asked for the issue of how the cookers were tested to be considered.

Mr Williams said he would allow the scope of the inquest to be wider than it might otherwise be, given the "public interest" in the "worrying number of instances of the items which we rely on in our homes bursting into flames".

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