Devon landlord fined £158,000 for safety breaches

Joseph Ernest Draper was fined at Exeter Crown Court after pleading guilty to four offences under the Fire Safety Order 2005.

The court case follows a fire at Mr Drapers Ilfracombe property which resulted in some of the 13 tenants having to escape from the burning building by climbing on to the roof.

After the fire, Devon and Somerset fire investigators carrying out a safety audit discovered that doors were not constructed to resist fire and some did not have self closing devices fitted

Nick manning from Devon and Somerset fire service said: “Landlords and owners of properties used as flats should take notice of the outcome of this case – it has sent a clear message with the level of the fine awarded.”

London landlord fined £18,000 for fire safety breaches

A London landlord has been found guilty of several fire safety breaches

Mr Adrian Francis Lasrado from Wallington was told by the council that he was not permitted to rent his renovated property because the property did not comply with fire safety standards including having no suitable fire escape

Despite the council prohibition order, Mr Lasrado rented the property to a family with 2 young children

The landlord has now been prosecuted and fined £10,000 for the planning offence and £5,000 for failing to comply with the prohibition order. He was also ordered to pay £3,585 in costs.

Councillor Jayne McCoy from Sutton Council’s housing department, said: “These were blatant contraventions, which placed the lives of vulnerable tenants at risk. The fines issued are extremely high and reflect the seriousness of the offences and the disregard shown by Mr Lasrado to the law and the safety of his tenants. We have a good working relationship with the vast majority of landlords in Sutton and this was an exceptional case, but we will not hesitate to take formal action to protect the lives of our residents.”

Safety breach fine after death at Manchester care home

The manager of a care home in Altrincham has appeared in court for breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Karen Sykes who was the duty manager of the Oldfield Bank Residential Care Home in Highgate Road, Altrincham was accused of not carrying out a full search of the building when a fire alarm was activated in the building in May 2009. An elderly resident died following the fire.

Although the alarm went off at around 6pm, it was then silenced. Shortly after that, a fire was discovered and the emergency services were alerted at 7.15pm. When the fire service arrived at the scene they discovered that the alarm had been switched to silence mode.

Judge Justice Lakin of Manchester Crown Court said: “My duty is clear. I have to apply the law. As the manager of the care home it was Sykes responsibility for the fire alarm and evacuation."

Karen Sykes was fined £500 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Peter O’Reilly, Assistant County Fire Officer from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “This case clearly highlights and enforces the message that employees have a duty to ensure the safety of the people they are looking after. This behaviour simply isn’t acceptable and we should not forget that an elderly resident in Sykes care died that night. This is the first time an employee has been prosecuted under this legislation, as opposed to the employer, and I am proud of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue for bringing this about.”

Hotel Company admits safety breaches after 3 die in fir

The owners of a Hotel in Cornwall have admitted breaching fire safety regulations after what was described as the worst fire in the UK for almost 40 years. Three people died in the blaze.

The Fire which boke out on the 18th August 2007 is thought to have started in a drinks store room and quickly spread through the building. More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze and 90 people were evacuated to safety. Sadly, Joan Harper, 80; Monica Hughes, 86; and her 43 year old son, Peter all died as a result of the fire.

O&C Holdsworth Ltd, who own the hotel in Newquay admitted to several breaches including failing to provide fire detection systems and failing to carry out a sufficient risk assessment.

The owners admitted to serious safety breaches but two employees, who pleaded not guilty to similar charges, were discharged by the judge at Truro Crown Court. Two senior Holdsworth employees, John McMillan and Nichola Burfitt, denied six offences. Their pleas were accepted by the prosecution.

John Hughes – brother of Peter and son of Monica said: “To lose two members of your family is beyond most people’s imagination. The best thing that could come out of this is that the tourism agencies and hotels sit up and take note. There are still premises and hotels around the country that are not complying with fire regulations.

Cornwall Council said it welcomed the guilty plea. Judge Elwen adjourned sentencing of the company, based in West Yorkshire, until May.

Hostel owner fined after man dies in fire

A Blackburn hostel owner has been ordered to pay £3000 in fines after pleading guilty to breaching fire safety regulations.

Mr Sajed Hussain owns the Devonshire Hostel in Blackburn, Lancashire where a fire broke out in 2008 killing one person.

Prosecutor Joe Hart said: “It is impossible to say, if the evacuation had been speedier, whether Mr Barker would have survived. Accordingly, the Crown cannot say there is a causal link between the failure admitted and his death.”

The Devonshire Hostel has now been fitted with an adequate fire detection and alarm system.