Hull holidaymaker died after raider sets fire to his apartment

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A FORMER window cleaner from Hull died from inhaling toxic gases after an intruder attacked him and set fire to his holiday apartment in Spain.

Charles Stabler, 64, was staying at his flat in Benalmadena, Costa del Sol, when a man broke in, robbed him and set fire to the property in April 2009.

His attacker was caught by police and later convicted and jailed for 25 years for Mr Stabler’s murder, an inquest at Hull Coroner’s Court heard.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, coroner Geoffrey Saul said: “(Mr Stabler died from) multi-organ failure caused by the intoxication by the inhalation of toxic gases as a result of the domestic fire.”

The brief inquest heard that an intruder broke into Mr Stabler’s third-floor apartment on April 9, 2009 and attacked and robbed him.

Mr Stabler received a number of injuries as a result of this assault but they did not contribute to his death, Mr Saul said.

The intruder then set light to the premises and Mr Stabler was found unconscious and rescued by firemen.

He remained in a coma for three weeks until he died on May 1, 2009.

Statements from Mr Stabler’s brother and sister, Michael Stabler and Maureen Marshall, which were read to the inquest, told how the former self-employed window cleaner bought the apartment about 20 years ago and would spend part of the winter there each year.

In 2009, he had gone to Spain on January 3 and intended to spend three months there but later decided to extend his stay for an extra two months.

Michael Stabler and Mrs Marshall told how they were informed about the attack on their brother and were later told he had died in a Spanish hospital.

Mr Saul said the post-mortem examination had revealed an injury to Mr Stabler’s scalp and some burns but said they were not severe enough to have caused his death.

It concluded the cause of death was from the inhalation of carbon monoxide and smoke.

Mr Saul offered his condolences to Mr Stabler’s family, who did not attend the inquest.