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Magistrates send out a message on fire safety

Welwyyn Hatfield v Fasogbon: Watford Magistrates 23/11/15

David Lintott appeared for the prosecuting local authority. The Watford Magistrates Court sitting at St Albans sentenced Mr Adeyami Fasogbon for breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006. He was sentenced to £2,000 for each of 6 charges relating to a failure to ensure that fire fighting equipment and fire alarms were maintained in good working order and that means of escape were maintained in good order and repair.

The offences were charged under s.234(3) of the Housing Act 2004 and Mr Fasogbon, the landlord, was sentenced after a guilty plea on the morning of the trial. He was also ordered to pay £10,000 costs and £120 surcharge making a total of £22,120. In passing sentence the Magistrates noted the grave risks to those living in the accommodation at 42, The Runway. The offences spanned four dates in October 2014 when the prosecuting authority's officer visited the house of multiple occupation and found that the fire alarm was defective. He also discovered a faulty smoke detector and missing smoke seals on doors. The Magistrates noted that it was only good fortune which had preserved the safety of those inside and that a fire could have had terrible consequences for those living there.