05 May 2015
A Wolverhampton pub landlord has been sentenced to eight months in jail after being found guilty of numerous fire safety breaches.
Mr Daljit Singh was visited seven times by fire safety officers over a two-year period, but failed to take measures to bring the property up to a safe standard.
Some of the breaches found included having an inoperable fire alarm, fire escapes blocked with boxes and furniture, and no smoke alarms throughout the building.
It was also found that six people had been living in the upstairs room of the property, despite the fact that Mr Singh had told the authorities he only had two tenants.
His only attempt to comply with regulation was when he used masking tape to fit smoke detectors to ceilings.
Gary Jones, a fire inspector with West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We tried to help the defendant out on numerous occasions but he blatantly disregarded our advice.
“He forced our hand in terms of conducting this prosecution.”
Mr Singh plead guilty to 13 counts of breaching regulations, receiving his prison sentence as well as being ordered to pay £11,130 in costs.
Mr Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant deliberately and systematically ignored every attempt the fire authorities made to assist him to comply with even the most basic of safety regulations.
“He has done so for profit and in turn has put the lives of his tenants and customers at risk. His attitude has been contemptible.”
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.