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Shop owner jailed for fire safety failings

24 August 2017

A NOTTINGHAM shopkeeper has been handed a ten-month prison sentence for contravening an enforcement notice, which prevented him from allowing people to live above the shop due to fire safety concerns.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that the two-floor premises in Front Street, Nottingham was owned by Mohamed Abdul Hasan. In April 2013, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) visited the shop and found people living upstairs despite a sheet covering the smoke detector and the rear exit door being locked. 

NFRS issued a Prohibition Notice preventing people living at the premises until remedial work was carried out. Hasan also contracted an independent party to assess the building who confirmed that it was unsafe for people to live upstairs and it should only be used to reach the toilet. When NFRS re-visited the site in 2015 it found that no work had been done to correct the failings and there was evidence that people still lived upstairs.

Hassan appeared in court on 22 August and admitted breaching an enforcement notice. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay £13,815 in costs.

During sentencing, Judge Rosalind Coe said: "I cannot ignore the fact that you turned a blind eye to what you were being told by the fire authority and your risk assessment. You knew all the risks identified. There was a risk of harm and serious injury and accumulative failures here. The court needs to send a message about the seriousness of these sort of offences.”.

In mitigation, Hasan said he was the only person who occasionally slept in the premises and that he had made the effort to get independent advice on the safety of the premises after the Prohibition Notice was issued.