4 month sentence handed down

A Reading landlord has been jailed for four months and ordered to pay £9876.07 in costs after admitting to breaching 12 counts of fire safety rules.

Tenants at the properties belonging to Mr Ishaq Hussein were left without working smoke alarms, smoke detectors, firefighting equipment or safe means of escape, with designated routes obstructed.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service served Mr Hussein with an enforcement notice to rectify the failings in November last year.

Carl May-Smith, prosecuting, said: "There was also a washing machine on the mezzanine floor, blocking fire escape routes for the tenants in the upstairs flats.

“The fire service had to fit battery operated fire alarms and smoke detectors and informed tenants of basic fire safety training."

In mitigation, John Simmons, defending Mr Hussein, said that a period of emotional stress and financial difficulty had distracted him from his responsibilities.

Judge Alexia Durran, said: "I am dealing with a case with a number of breaches and those breaches persisted for some significant period of time by a landlord of some considerable experience.

"It seems to me you were putting profit before safety. In some of these offences your failure to pay for the electricity that would have fed to the alarms in the communal area and to invest in new carpets on the upstairs floors indicates that you had put cost saving before safety, something that does not seem to apply to your other properties."

Original source

Reading Chronicle