In a case considered to be the first case where a jury has convicted a defendant under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), Chumleigh Lodge Hotel Limited and its sole director, Michael Wilson, were fined £210k. An investigation carried out by the London Fire Brigade followed a fire which broke out at the hotel on 18 May 2008. The fire spread quickly from a first floor guest bedroom via a staircase and the floor above. Whilst three people were able to escape from the fire, one was forced to climb out of a second floor window. The investigation found numerous fire safety breaches, including defective fire doors and blocked safety routes. The hotel management company and Mr Wilson pleaded not guilty to 12 offences under the RRO. Both were convicted and the fine was apportioned at £30k to the hotel and £180k to the director, Mr Wilson. A costs order was of £50k was imposed on the defendants in addition to the fine, together with a compensation order of £2k for the guest who had been forced to escape from a second floor window.
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Hotel owner fined in excess of £200k for fire safety breaches
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