Former resturant owner fined £12,000 after ignoring fire risks

A former restaurant owner has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 after allowing his staff to live in dangerous conditions.

Ibrahim Sultan Miyah of St Albans, Hertfordshire, appeared before Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on 7 October 2011 and pleaded guilty to breaching prohibition orders after previously entering a not guilty plea at a hearing in July.

Miyah was fined £12,000 for the breaches, under the Housing Act 2004, and ordered to pay costs of £3,500.

An investigation by Cambridge City Council housing standard officers, found that restaurant staff above the Calcutta Club in Mill Road, Cambridge, were continuing to live in unsuitable conditions despite previous assurances from Miyah that this would not be the case.

Miyah had previously been convicted for the same offence in December 2010.

In the event of a fire, the occupants of the first floor rooms would have been expected to escape through the ground floor restaurant and open kitchen or to jump from the first floor windows.

In February 2010, prohibition orders were served on Miyah prohibiting the residential use of the rooms above the Calcutta Club until he had installed a suitable secondary fire escape.

Despite Miyah’s conviction in December 2010 officers inspected the premises in January and February 2011 and found that a fire escape had not been provided and three of the first floor rooms were being occupied by members of staff.

On hearing the evidence, District Judge Sheraton told Miyah: “Having been before the court in December last year, it must have been very clear to you the seriousness with which Cambridge City Council took these matters, and the seriousness, because of the penalties imposed, in which the court took them.”

Miyah no longer has any connection to the former Calcutta Club.

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