David Liu, who ran The Dial Hotel and Market Inn in Mansfield, pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) whilst John O’Rourke of Mansfield Fire Protection Services pleaded guilty to two offences under the RRO. The Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service visited the hotels as part of a routine inspection and found the upper floors had been used as a sleeping accommodation without adequate protection measures. Prohibition Notices were issued to prevent either hotel from being used as sleeping accommodation until the deficiencies were dealt with.
The offences to which Mr Liu pleaded guilty included a failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment, failure to ensure an effective means of escape, failing to ensure premises were equipped with appropriate firefighting equipment and failing to maintain the fire alarm, emergency lighting or firefighting equipment. Mr O’Rourke had prepared fire risk assessments for both premises which failed to identify significant deficiencies. He was prosecuted as a person other than a responsible person who had some control over the premises as a result of conducting the fire risk assessments for each hotel. The judge highlighted the need to send out a strong message to those who conduct fire risk assessments and hotel owners who put profit before safety, and jailed both individuals for eight months. Mr Liu was also ordered to pay costs of £15,000 and Mr O’Rourke, £5,860.