Owner of 14th century wedding venue in Crewe, Cheshire, sentenced to 20 months’ jail for breaching fire safety regulations.

The owner of Haslington Hall, Mohammed Isaq, pleaded guilty to nine charges for breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and for failing to comply with improvement and prohibition notices at the hall, used as a wedding venue. His company, Haslington Hall Ltd, where he was the major shareholder, admitted the same breaches.

Chester Crown Court was told Isaq previously had to pay a £23,815 penalty after he was found guilty of nine counts of breaching the Fire Safety Order in 2012, also at the venue.

These charges relate to Isaq’s failure to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and the public; failure to review fire risk assessments following a decision to use the second floor of the main hall as sleeping accommodation; inadequate fire detectors, alarms, firefighting equipment, escape routes, signage for emergency routes and exits; and a lack of fire safety training for staff.

In 2012 Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service served enforcement notices on Haslington Hall, a Grade I listed timber-framed building, however adequate remedial measures were not taken. Then in 2014, after the Service had issued a prohibition notice on a marquee in the grounds, the notice was breached on at least three occasions.

The honorary Recorder of Chester, Judge Roger Dutton, told Isaq “A more flagrant breach of the legislation there cannot be in my view. You simply ignored many of the important aspects of the enforcement notices and completely ignored two prohibition notices”

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