A CORONER has voiced her concern at the lack of electrical safety checks on rented properties after hearing how a respected university lecturer was electrocuted by a faulty immersion heater at his Cotswold farmhouse home.

The family of popular Professor John Alliston, 70, say he would not have died if there had been legislation requiring landlords to get electrical safety certificates on their properties.

Mr Alliston was killed when metal fittings in the house he had just rented with his wife Petey became 'live' due to the lack of safety measures such as a residual current protection device.

Co-incidentally, the government started considering the issue of electrical safety in rented homes not long after the professor's death in 2017 and a new working party set up to draft legislation is due to meet for the first time later this month.

But following a two day inquest this week into Mr Alliston's death the Gloucestershire coroner, Katie Skerrett, is now considering whether to write to the government recommending that the proposed new legislation is rushed through to prevent future similar tragedies.

She said she will consider over the next ten days whether she should send a 'Preventing Further Deaths' report to the government.

"I am worried that it (the passing of legislation) may be left non-prioritised so I have to consider hard: is there a risk of future deaths occurring? In my mind at the moment there is," she said.

The inquest jury recorded a conclusion that Mr Alliston's death at Manor Farm House, Coates, nr Cirencester, Glos, on June 8th 2017 was an accident.

Professor Alliston's widow Petey said after the hearing: "I think it is extremely important, going forward, that RCDs are made a legal requirement. Gas Safety is covered by legislation at the moment but not electrical.

"I think it is extremely important that the coroner writes about this to the government - I think it is an incredibly basic requirement that rented houses should be certified to be electrically safe."

Professor Alliston was a lecturer at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, where he had worked for 20 years.

More than six hundred past and present students and colleagues attended an event in his memory at the college after his death.

His son Mike said: "The inquest has been a fairly traumatic couple of days, re-living the circumstances around dad's death, which is still very fresh in our minds.

"It seems that very simple actions could have prevented his death - and potentially the death of anyone else who lived at the property, including my mother and a local gardener who went to his aid when his body was still 'live' and capable of electrocuting others.

"Perhaps this inquest can be the stretch point for the government to tighten up the way properties are let so that this does not happen again."

Mrs Alliston, who wore her husband's favourite purple jumper to the inquest hearing - the jumper he wore on the day of his death - said his loss after their 42 years of marriage was a tragedy because he was a man who brightened up peoples lives.

"He spent most of his life smiling. He was a buoyant, optimistic, happy, man," she said.

"That is why people were very happy to engage with him and help him with the tasks he felt were important. "

Health and Safety inspector Kenneth Morton said said he believed that legislation would soon be changed as he has been on a working group commissioned by the government to look at the need for electrical testing in homes.

"We have been considering whether it should be a legal requirement to have mandatory inspections and testing of electrical systems in the private housing sector," he said.

"There was a press statement about this on the 12th April this year.

"I am now on another working group drafting legislation for mandatory testing."