A man in Cornwall, England has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after stuffing a potato in the chimney pipe of his neighbour`s home on Christmas Day in 2015.
Michael Horner, 48, died of carbon monoxide poisoning after Daniel Burgess blocked the inflow and outflow exhaust pipes of the home with a large spud.
The doors in Horner`s home were also glued shut and filled with foam, sealing in his disabled neighbour.
During a trial, the court heard Burgess wanted to extract revenge because he believed Horner was stealing his pre-paid gas cards, which prevented the accused from heating his home.
The BBC reported Burgess wanted to make his neighbour suffer in the same manner by sabotaging his heating.
However, a fault in Horner`s boiler caused the automatic fail safe system to not work, leading to the release of carbon monoxide.
According to Metro UK, police found Horner`s body on the living room floor.
The heat was turned up to 60 degrees Celsius and Horner was wearing just underpants.
At the time of his death Horner suffered from Huntington’s Disease and heart problems, which restricted his mobility.
“You did what you did deliberately,” Judge Geoffrey Mercer told Burgess during the trial.
“You went to considerable lengths and you knew what you were doing. Of crucial importance is that you had no intention of doing any physical harm.
Your plan was simply to stop his boiler from working and make him cold.
I accept your remorse is genuine and your culpability is at the lower end.”
Police found foam traces on Burgess’s clothing and matching DNA on the potato.
Defence lawyer Kate Brunner said Burgess suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, which caused him to blame Horner for the theft.
Brunner said expressed “very deep regret” for his actions.