26 July 2012
A former restaurant owner has had to pay £6,500 for providing unsafe sleeping accommodation above his restaurant.
Amed Ali, who owned the Light of India restaurant in Wallsend, Tyneside, pleaded guilty to 12 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 when he appeared before North Tyneside magistrates court on 25 May. The case was then referred to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing on 16 July.
Mr Ali was fined £250 for each offence and ordered to pay £3500 costs.
Prosecuting, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service told the court that fire safety officers visited the premises in May 2011. Fire safety breaches included inadequate means of giving warning in case of a fire, inadequate escape routes from the first floor sleeping accommodation in the event of a fire, lack of proper fire safety training and not having a fire risk assessment in place.
Officers also served a prohibition notice on using the first floor as sleeping accommodation.
Group manager Darren Boddy of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:
"It is the responsibility of all business owners to ensure the safety of anyone on their premises. A fire risk assessment must be undertaken to identify the risks to the people within the premises and the accommodation must have an appropriate standard of fire safety measures, systems and adequate escape routes. By failing to ensure these fire safety provisions are in place, some business owners are putting people's lives at risk.
"We always strive to work with businesses to ensure the safety of their staff and members of the public, but where necessary we will not hesitate to take legal action against those who do not and continue to flout the law."