Store owner sentenced for ignoring fire safety laws
Posted 27/06/2016 by Macdonald Martin Ltd.
Mahboob Hussain, the owner of Shah Convenience Store in Walton, Liverpool has been condemned by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court because he “put employees at serious risk of death or serious injury” and “couldn’t be bothered” to carry out fire safety work.
Mr Hussain, let staff sleep above the store despite being told by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service that their lives were at risk. He failed to carry out a fire risk assessment, plus the stairs up to the accommodation were cluttered with flammable materials with a fire exit also being blocked. There was no fire alarm or fire doors within the premise.
After a fire safety officer went to the shop and found a bed on the first floor, Mr Hussain claimed he was the only person to have slept there after working late. He was also accused of pretending to have sold the business to escape responsibility of the risks.
Repeated requests to carry out the necessary improvements were ignored and Mr Hussain then claimed he was no longer the business owner. Police eventually had to be called to gain entry to the premises.
A bed, clothes and a fridge were found in the rooms above the shop and a prohibition notice was issued. Mr Hussain said that occasionally workers would stay overnight in order to prevent break-ins. He admitted to failing to implement fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and to comply with a prohibition notice. His legal team said that more than £1000 had been spent on fire safety measures.
Judge Everett said Mr Hussain “just couldn’t be bothered” to carry out simple work and “put employees at serious risk of death or serious injury”. “You didn’t care about you employees. All you were thinking about was saving yourself as much money as you could”.
Mahboob Hussain was eventually sentence to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and told to pay a total of £7,907 in costs.
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