A pub landlord has pleaded guilty to eight fire safety offences after failing to understand he had become responsible for fire safety after his lease changed. Appearing at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on July 3rd, Robert Vincent Ashton, of Swinton, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 towards Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's (GMFRS) costs for the offences.
The case was brought against Mr Ashton, the owner of the Duke of York pub in Eccles, Salford, after an investigation revealed several fire safety failings. These included faulty fire alarms, lack of adequate fire resistance between floors, unacceptable fire escapes and failure to carry out a fire risk assessment.Upon sentencing Mr Ashton, magistrates took into account that he did not understand that he was responsible for fire safety after singing a new lease in 2008.
Assistant chief officer Peter O'Reilly, director of prevention and protection at GMFRS, said: "The decision of the magistrates recognises that Ashton did not seek to put profit over safety but rather failed to understand his responsibilities."I hope that this case will encourage people setting up or entering businesses to ensure they research their legal responsibilities. Anyone entering into a lease arrangement must ensure they fully understand their obligations and the legal implications.”