Harrogate hotelier fined £30,000 for flouting electrical safety regulations

09 February 2015 by
Harrogate hotelier fined £30,000 for flouting electrical safety regulations

A Harrogate hotelier has been ordered to pay over £30,000 in fines and costs after failing to address electrical faults that had been identified in two of her hotels.

Yoko Banks, owner of the Azalea Court hotel and former owner of the Ruskin hotel, both in Harrogate, pleaded guilty to two health and safety offences at Harrogate Magistrates Court.

The prosecution was brought by Harrogate Borough Council, after Banks failed to address a number of serious electrical faults that had been identified by electrical contractors, employed by the council and the Health and Safety Executive.

Following the discovery in March 2013 of around 50 electrical faults, which were deemed to be potentially dangerous and required urgent remedial action, a further inspection in January 2014 revealed that some of the defects had not been addressed, while others had undergone faulty corrective work.

Banks was fined £14,000 for each offence, and ordered to pay a £140 Victim Surcharge and costs of £2,450.75, amounting to a total of £30,590.75.

Councillor John Ennis, chairman of Harrogate Borough Council's licensing committee, said: "Businesses must make sure that their electrical systems are maintained in a safe condition. Had this owner co-operated with the local authority and undertaken maintenance works in a timely manner she wouldn't have had to pay this hefty fine."

Jennifer Norton, head of legal and governance at the council, added: "Despite being notified of a large number of electrical issues, the proprietor failed to undertake all of the essential maintenance work. She continued to operate both hotels knowing that she was compromising people's health and safety.

• In November 2014 Banks was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in prosecution costs at York Crown Court after pleading guilty to 15 contraventions of the of the Fire Safety Order in a case brought by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority. The case related to four guest houses and one house of multiple occupation.

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