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Company director found guilty of fire safety offence in Leeds

26 October 2023

WEST YORKSHIRE Fire and Rescue Authority has brought forward a successful prosecution against Michael Gubbay, director of Tuscola (109) Limited, for failing to provide requested information to the Fire Authority in relation to a premises in Leeds.

During a hearing conducted at Leeds Magistrates’ Court (pictured) on 14 September, Gubbay (aged 63, who lives in Israel) pleaded guilty to failing to respond to an Article 27 request for information in relation to the fire safety management arrangements at premises known as Austin Hall, located at Servia Road, Woodhouse in Leeds.

Gubbay, who was present in court for the hearing, was prosecuted under Article 32(2)e of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and subsequently received a fine of £666, with a £266 surcharge, as well as being ordered to pay costs of £1,878.

Article 27 enables Fire and Rescue Authorities to request specific information in relation to the safety of a given premises.

Chris Kemp, senior fire protection manager for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, commented: “This case highlights how important it is for people with fire safety responsibilities to take them seriously. The maximum fine for this type of offence was £1,000. From 1 October, though, amendments brought in through the new Building Safety Act 2022 removed that cap, providing courts with the ability to apply unlimited fines.”

Kemp concluded: “Where individuals or organisations persistently ignore formal and legal requests for information, and notably so those relating to public safety, we will continue to use our powers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to safeguard the communities of West Yorkshire.”