Alnmouth hotelier sentenced for fire safety breaches

August 23, 2023

An Alnmouth hotelier has received a two-year suspended custodial sentence after pleading guilty to charges brought under fire safety legislation.

Mohammed Maten Rohman, 50, owner of The Schooner Hotel, has been sentenced for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and a breach of an Enforcement Notice served under the same legislation.

Rohman had admitted 10 breaches of the fire safety order at Newcastle Crown Court at a previous hearing.

The offences related to significant fire safety deficiencies identified during a routine fire safety audit conducted in June 2021. The deficiencies posed a risk of death or serious injury in the event of fire.

Following the audit, fire officers had issued an enforcement notice outlining the measures Rohman needed to take to make the premises safe for guests and employees, but when they returned months later many of the fire deficiencies had not been rectified.

Warren Spencer, prosecuting for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, told the court that four previous enforcement notices had been issued to Rohman between 2009 and 2019, in respect of similar fire safety breaches.

The offences included:

  • Inadequate compartmentation between the basement cellar and the ground floor.
  • Lack of a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.
  • A faulty fire alarm system.
  • Unsafe emergency exits and escape routes, including signage left over from the pandemic, which might have sent guests the wrong way in the event of a fire.
  • Lack of staff training.
  • A breach of the enforcement notice.

Handing down sentence, Judge Earl told Rohman that he had a flagrant history of breaching the regulations, and that there had been an “element of profiteering” instead of making his premises safe.

He sentenced Rohman to 12 months custody for failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment of the premises, and 12 months custody for breaching the Enforcement Notice, each to run consecutively, but suspended for a period of two years.

He was sentenced to nine months custody for each of the other eight charges, to run concurrently, and suspended for two years. He was ordered to complete a 250-hour community order and pay £24,124 in costs.

Richard Leighton, group manager of the fire safety department at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The safety of our communities in Northumberland is our priority and we will always work with those responsible for fire safety within premises where fire safety legislation applies to ensure people are safe from the risk of fire, and encourage them to reach out to us to ensure they have the correct fire safety plans in place.”

This is valid as of 21st August 2023.

Sign-up to the Barbour Monthly Newsletter

Get the latest Health, Safety and Environmental news and information – sign up for updates from Barbour EHS. Computer monitor What you’ll get:
  • Free downloads including Directors’ Briefings, legislation updates, webinars, risk assessments and more
  • VIP invites to events
  • Important industry news and updates
  • Invitations to hot topic webinars hosted by Barbour
  • Industry partner information

You May Also Be Interested In

Comments are closed.

✉ Sign up to the Barbour Newsletter

Free downloads, advance notice of webinars, product updates and perks – all straight to your inbox.

  • Barbour EHS may from time to time send updates about Barbour products and services. By providing your contact information you consent to being contacted for direct marketing purposes by Barbour EHS. Please ensure you review our Privacy Policy.