A former hotel owner has been fined a record £200,000 and has received a suspended prison sentence for multiple fire safety failings.
- inadequate fire detection systems
- inadequate emergency lighting
- missing fire doors
- no fire risk assessment
- evidence the basement storeroom was being used for sleeping
LFB issued an enforcement notice to the hotel’s owner Salim Patel, but a follow up inspection found that no remedial action had been taken. Mr Patel appeared at the Old Bailey on 12 March and pleaded guilty to seven breaches of the FSO. In addition to the fine, he was ordered to pay £29,922 in costs and was handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Sentencing Judge Kennedy said the public expected ‘absolute attention’ to fire safety when occupying sleeping accommodation in a hotel and that Mr Patel had not provided it. The judge added that, as the business owner, he was where the ‘buck stopped.’
After the hearing, LFB head of fire safety regulation Neil Orbell said: ‘Our fire safety officers carry out around 16,000 inspections every year to help ensure the capital’s buildings are safe from fire. This is the biggest fine we have ever secured against an individual for breaking fire safety laws and it should send a message to all business owners that if they are shirking their fire safety responsibilities and putting the public at risk we won’t hesitate to prosecute. The size of the fine should also serve as a stark reminder that the court’s take fire safety just as seriously as we do.’