Mother of teen who died in Castlerock says gas fitter’s guilty plea spared the family a trial

The mother of one of two teenagers who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in County Derry over three years ago has said the deaths took her family’s future away.
In 2010, Neil McFerrin and Aaron Davidson, both 18, were overcome by gas from a boiler at an apartment in Castlerock. Earlier this week, gas fitter George Brown changed his plea in the case, and admitted a charge of manslaughter.
Police say his subsequent conviction was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.
Aaron Davidson’s mother, Katrina told the BBC today that the “surprise” change of plea spared the two families the trauma of a trial.
Aaron Davidson and Neil Mc Freein, both from Newtownabbey, County Antrim, died on 3 August, 2010. They, and their friend Mathew Gaw, had been on a break in Castlerock before getting their A-level exam results. Both Neil and Aaron were poisoned by carbon monoxide from a defective flue in a gas boiler. Matthew survived the toxic fumes in the apartment.
They were found by their parents, who went to Castlerock when they were unable to contact the boys.
George Brown, from Ballygawley Road, Aghadowey, had initially pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, and also previously denied a further 19 charges involving failures in health and safety legislation.
He’ll be sentenced in March.
Katrina Davidson told the BBC today that she had mixed emotions in the courthouse when Brown changed his plea.
On the one hand, she said, it brought back the events of three and a half years ago when it all happened, but on the other hand. there was relief that there wouln’t going to be a trial.