The Hotel Owner
The owner of the New Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool has been given a record 18 month prison sentence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; the most severe sentencing yet.
The EHOs and Fire safety officers discovered numerous breaches at the now derelict hotel including non-operational fire alarms and faulty electrics when they inspected in March 2013. However the most disturbing was the lack of concern towards fire exits which were not only blocked by gas cylinders but were padlocked and even nailed shut, breaching the requirement of the RRFSO to ensure people can safely escape in the event of a fire.
After an inspection in 2010, the hotel was closed down due to serious food hygiene and fire safety concerns. At which point the owner, Mr Metcalf appeared in court and received a 12-week suspended prison sentence.
However after a tip off from a water company a second inspection was carried out in March 2013 as it was believed people were living in the premises. This inspection revealed that there were indeed tenants living in the premises and paying £50 a week for the privilege.
In Preston Crown Court, Mr Metcalf pleaded not guilty to 15 offences, but was found at fault, so along with the 18 months sentence he was also ordered to pay £5,243 in costs.