Man showed ‘disregarded’ of the law
A Manchester landlord has been ordered to serve a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and told to pay £11,025 costs after fire officers found numerous dangerous features to a property under his ownership.
A fire safety officer came upon Mr Karamat Hussain’s property by chance, uncovering a series of safety issues including a broken fire alarm, a lack of effective fire doors, empty extinguishers used as doorstops, holes in roofs, a ceiling comprised of plastic sheeting, plus mattresses and boxes blocking fire exits.
Mr Hussain was also not able to produce a fire risk assessment - although he says he paid £700 to have one done, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Prosecutor Julian King told Hussain’s sentencing hearing that a fire safety officer was passing the building in July 2015 when he saw a young child at the window and became concerned for their safety.
He entered the building, discovered the dangerous problems and returned 12 times over a 14-month period in an attempt to bring the building up to scratch.
Despite being served an enforcement notice within weeks of the first visit, the building was still not up to standard when the fire safety officer returned earlier this year.
Mr King, prosecuting, said Hussain’s ‘flagrant disregard’ and ‘cost-cutting’ meant residents ‘would have little opportunity to escape should the worst happen’ and so were at risk of ‘death or serious injury’.
Sentencing, Judge Field told Hussain there was ‘deliberate cost-cutting’, and that this and his previous record revealed his ‘tendency to disregard the law relating to the safety of others’.
"You have placed your tenants, their children and any visitors to the premises at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire”, Judge Field added.
Speaking after he was, Mr Hussain told the Manchester Evening News: "This case is 100 per cent bull****. They’ve done this to me because I’m a young man with a big building.