We have secured our biggest ever fine against a private individual after successfully prosecuting a Bayswater hotelier, who put lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws.
The former owner of The Radnor Hotel on Inverness Terrace, Salim Patel, was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £29,922 court costs after pleading guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was also handed a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
When our fire safety officers visited the former six floor, 18-room hotel, in 2011 to carry out an routine inspection they discovered numerous fire safety breaches, including:
An enforcement notice requiring Mr Patel to put right the deficiencies was issued, but our follow up visits found no action had been taken to remedy the situation and the hotel continued to operate without a working fire detection system. It was then we decided to prosecute.
Sentencing Mr Patel at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 10 March, Sentencing Judge Kennedy said the public expected 'absolute attention' to fire safety when occupying sleeping accommodation in a hotel and that Mr Patel did not provide it. The judge added that, as the business owner, he was where the ‘buck stopped.’
Our 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."