A building owner and a property managing agent from Leicester and Hong Kong, appeared at Leicester Crown Court, on Monday 27 February 2023, following guilty pleas entered at a previous hearing at Leicester Crown Court.
Both the building owners and the managing agent pleaded guilty to offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The charges related to several fire safety breaches raised by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service at a multi occupied block of high-rise flats in Leicester City Centre.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has a robust inspection programme in place and as part of that process, several inspections and audits were carried out at a 7 storey multi-occupied block of flats in Leicester City centre.
Through continuous engagement Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service issued several notices regarding fire safety issues. These were not resolved so Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service took the decision to prosecute under Article 32 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
In sentencing Treasure HK Ltd, Affitto Estate Agents and Mr Manjeet Hayre, the director of Affitto Estate Agents Ltd, Judge Spencer in summoning up, said: “In my judgement of a shambolic regards to the required fire safety measures over a 4-year period, with no less than 58 call outs, cost substantial amounts of money, in broad terms the failure to comply, to take general fire precautions, no fire risk assessment, no communication, no competent person to assist with the implementation, no maintenance and finally failure to comply with enforcement, it is a depressing picture.”
They were sentenced as follows: – Treasure HK Ltd was fined a total of £79,000 including costs and Affitto – Mr Manjeet Hayre was fined a total of £101,000 including costs, including 2 years conditional discharge.
Station Manager Sanjay Bulsara, Fire Protection Team Leader, said: “As this case strongly illustrates, complying with fire safety legislation is not optional and courts take failures of Fire Safety seriously. Failure to ensure suitable and sufficient fire safety arrangements are in place and maintained can put people’s lives at risk, particularly in premises where they sleep and are therefore potentially even more vulnerable to fire.”
“I hope that this case shows that companies, landlords and managing agents who have responsibilities to meet fire safety obligations, but fail to do so, face severe penalties”.
“Where responsible people fail in their duties and responsibilities to uphold Fire Safety legislation, as in this case, we will not hesitate to prosecute.”
“The outcome of this case and the length of time we have been working on this prosecution has been achieved through the hard work, dedication and professionalism, over time by the dedicated Fire Protection Officers and our Fire Protection Team within Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service”.
Notes to Editors
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About the Service
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service provides emergency response, prevention and protection services from 20 stations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Its headquarters is based in Birstall, Leicester.
During 2021/22, we attended a total of 8,259 emergency incidents, including 1,968 fires and 707 road traffic collisions. A total of 12,938 Home Safety Checks were completed and we fitted 3,546 smoke alarms. 233 schools were visited as part of the Service’s schools programme, delivering fire and road safety education to 6,724 pupils.
The Service’s prevention, education, enforcement and inspection programmes have resulted in significant reductions in the number of incidents attended.
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