The landlord of a takeaway with sleeping accommodation has been convicted of breaching fire safety law after unsuccessfully claiming he did not have control of the premises.
Abdul Mannan was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay almost £5,800 costs after being found guilty of six offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Manchester City Magistrates Court on 9 March.
Fire safety officers from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service inspected the Shabna Tandoori in Eccles in April last year and found the first and second floors were being used as sleeping accommodation.
No fire risk assessment had been carried out and there was no fire alarm system in the building. The only stairs to the upper floors led directly from the kitchen and had combustible items on the staircase.
None of the doors in the building were fire doors and there was no emergency lighting.
Officers were so concerned about the safety of the workers sleeping upstairs they issued a prohibition notice on the upper floors.
Prosecutor Warren Spencer said: "Had a fire occurred within the kitchen, the only way out of the building for people upstairs would lead them directly into the fire."
Mr Mannan owned the building since 1986 but told the court that he was not responsible as another company had leased the building and takeaway business from him in April 2010 and only left in May 2011 – after the fire service inspection.
But district judge Robinson found Mr Mannan guilty of all charges. "You came across as an intelligent man; however in places you were not credible or reliable,” he said. “The lease you have gave you a significant degree of control, you knew people were sleeping there and you carry some responsibility."
Assistant chief fire officer, Peter O'Reilly, said: "This complete disregard for the law, and the subsequent danger to life these premises posed, meant we had no option but to seek action through the courts.