Prison sentence for building owner after tenant dies in fire
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21 October 2019
A building owner has been handed a prison sentence after pleading guilty to two fire safety offences, following the death of a man at a fire in his property.
After the fire in 2017, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out an inspection, which found the building was converted to provide sleeping accommodation without planning authority approval.
There was also an Enforcement Notice in place when the fire broke out, which prohibited the building being used as sleeping accommodation.
David Winspear, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “We will always investigate fatal fires and ensure legislation is being complied with, and, where it isn’t, seek to take appropriate action.
"The parties involved in this case were in a position of trust and responsibility.
"Considering the occupier and fire victim was a vulnerable person, as English was not his first language, that responsibility was so much greater.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service decided that, due to the loss of life, prosecution under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was an appropriate course of action.
At York Crown Court last week, David was sentenced to 15 months in prison, reduced to 10 months for his guilty plea, suspended for 12 months.
He also received a total fine of £40,000 and £40,000 in costs.
"We would like to remind business owners and landlords that it is important that they are aware of the legislative requirements they need to comply with including having an up to date fire risk assessment," David Winspear said.
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