The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Hotelier fined £200,000 for breaking fire safety rules

20 June 2008

The owner of a Suffolk hotel has been fined a total of more than £200,000 after serious fire safety irregularities were discovered.

John Nevin, 59, of the Brandon House hotel in Brandon, admitted breaching fire service regulations when he appeared before Ipswich Crown Court.

The court heard that, after buying the 22-bedroom hotel in 2003, Nevin began a conversion programme without proper consideration of fire safety rules.

Evidence was given that when fire officers visited in 2004 they found that a function room had been converted into bedrooms without a proper fire escape being installed.

And during a second visit in 2006, fire officers were so concerned about fire safety that they served a prohibition notice preventing use of the second floor until changes had been made.

In mitigation it was said that the situation had now been rectified and that the hotel was fully compliant with all fire regulations.

In passing sentence Judge John Holt said: "The potential for risk of serious injury to guests while they slept in your hotel was considerable."

Nevins, who the court was told had assets of £10m, was fined £145,000 with £58,000 costs.

In March the Liberal Democrats published a report criticising hotels and B&Bs for failing to comply with the new fire regulations introduced last autumn.

Trevor Dean, the operations manager for fire safety at health and safety consultancy National Britanniak, warned operators they must take new fire safety regulations seriously.

"Those who ignore warnings and are prosecuted for contravening the order face fines at magistrates court of up to £5,000 per offence," he said.

"If the case is serious enough to go to Crown Court, the offender can be handed an unlimited fine or even a jail term of up to two years, as seen in the case of Nevins. In other words the cost of flouting the rules can seriously mount up."

Manager and wife arrested over fatal Cornish hotel fire >>
Hotel company fined more than £35,000 after fire >>

River Café fire forces restaurant to close temporarily >>

Hotels criticised for breaking fire safety rules >>

New Tanner brothers restaurant badly damaged in fire >>

By Andrew Smith

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

The Caterer Blog](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/catering-news-blog/) Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking