MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Councillor Ed Butcher, Liberal Democrat Leader on London Fire Brigade and Haringey councillor (Stroud Green), commenting on the conviction of two Haringey landlords for breaching fire regulations says:
“People who rent need to know they are safe. All too often tenants have no choice but to trust their landlords. Prosecution should always be a last resort, but if someone is responsible for protecting other people’s safety, they simply cannot ignore warning after warning from Fire Officers. It is for the courts to decide the sentence on the severity of the breach. In this case they clearly thought that the breach was serious.
“Enforcement action like this is to prevent a tragedy before it happens and I hope it will make others locally and across London think twice about their duty to protect people against fire.”
Extract from press release issued by London Fire Brigade:
Haringey landlords prosecuted for fire safety breaches
Two Haringey landlords have today been sentenced to six months imprisonment and ordered to pay £5000 costs each for breaching fire safety regulations, after a successful prosecution by London Fire Brigade.
The prosecution followed a fire at a house converted into bedsits, on Hampden Road, N8, on 31 March 2007.
Sentencing of the building’s owners Michael de Havilland and Sally Fox, of Muswell Hill, took place at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday 12 June, after de Havilland and Fox pleaded guilty to the breaches.
After the fire, London Fire Brigade Fire safety inspectors found multiple breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
These breaches included inadequate fire detection systems, lack of proper fire doors on bedrooms or the communal kitchen, no emergency lighting in the building’s stairway, lack of firefighting equipment such as a fire extinguisher or fire blankets and no fire risk assessment available for inspection.
As a result of the breaches a further inspection was arranged where it was requested that the owners were present so that these could be highlighted, and an enforcement notice was issued, explaining that the breaches needed to be dealt with.
After further contact with the co-owners and further inspections over a number of months, inspecting officers found that no work to make the premises safe had been completed.