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Weekly Edition - Published  18 April 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Liverpool man handed suspended prison sentences for failing to take fire precautions

A man who held a dance event in the basement of a Liverpool property, Naylor Street, Vauxhall, Liverpool, has been handed suspended prison sentences for failing to take adequate fire precautions, in a case brought by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

Andrew Jones, of St Domingo Vale in Liverpool, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court, on Friday, 15 April 2016, after previously pleading guilty to 12 charges including failure to take general fire precautions, failure to carry out a suitable risk assessment at the premises, failure to ensure the safety of people on the premises and failure to provide emergency routes and exits.

The court heard how firefighters were called to the property on the morning of 6 July 2014, where around 60 people had attended the event the night before.

Crews found combustible materials on the walls and ceilings of the basement and no discernible means of escape.

Further investigations revealed the property lacked adequate fire precautions, emergency lighting, any methods of raising the alarm in the event of a fire and that there were electrical leads trailing across the floor.

A prohibition notice was served to Andrew Jones, leaseholder of the property, and he was subsequently summonsed to appear before Liverpool Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to all charges.

Jones was handed custodial sentences of 12 months per offence to run concurrently, reduced to 8 months per offence due to his early guilty plea. The sentences are suspended for 2 years.

He was also given a 2 year supervision order, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and instructed to pay a fine of £1,200. He was ordered to take part in a training skills programme.

Speaking after the hearing, Fire Safety Officer Stewart Martindale said:- "Mr Jones had failed to ensure that the premises under his control were safe for such an event. The visitors to this event would have been unfamiliar with the layout of the premises, many of them were young persons under the influence of drugs and alcohol and, as such, if there had of been a fire it is reasonable to believe that numerous occupants may have been seriously injured or even killed. As such, the Fire Authority had no alternative, but to bring a prosecution against this individual."


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