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FAMILY'S GAS DEATHS VOW.

Byline: DEBORAH JAMES

RELATIVES of a young couple killed by fumes from a gas lamp they borrowed to keep warm have vowed they will fight on to get answers.

Pregnant Charlene Robinson, 17,and Peter Georgeson, 21, were found dead in the bedroom of their Skelmersdale flat after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning last November.

The fumes that killed them came from a butane gas lamp Peter had borrowed from a friend to keep warm, because the couple believed there was no credit left on their electricity meter.

But an inquest yesterday heard there was five pounds emergency credit available, which the couple had never used.

Charlene, who was six months pregnant, had moved into the temporary council accommodation in Alderly,Digmoor, with her boyfriend Peter on November 1.

The couple were found dead five days later, whenCharlene's mother Shirley got two housing officers to let her in because she had not heard from her daughter for two days.

Yesterday Charlene's grandmother Valerie Portis said: ``I want to know why a 17-year-old having a baby was not taken to the flat and shown how to use this meter, like I was shown how to use a disabled flat.'' Charlene, the second oldest of five children, had asked West Lancashire council housing department for an electricity credit card, and was told one would be delivered on the Monday.

In the meantime, officers told her there was some credit left in the machine, but they would not know how much until they pressed a button to access the reserve.

Yesterday Mrs Robinson challenged the council's claims they had provided enough emergency credit.

She said: ``It's been an absolute nightmare.We thought we would get some answers today but we haven't.I will not let this drop.''

West Lancashire coroner Howard McCann recorded a verdict of accidental death.He said: ``It was a very, very tragicdeath.''

A spokesman for West Lancashire council expressed sympathies to the families.

He added that the couple were given advice about the property and that it had a card meter system.

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HOME TRAGEDY: Charlene Robinson, and left with boyfriend Peter Georgeson
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2003
Words:354
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