Jail for breaches of Fire Safety

The Grimsby Telegraph reports the prosecution in Grimsby Crown Court of local landlord, Keith Newsum, who received a five-month prison sentence, and was ordered to pay costs of £100,000, plus compensation of £4,200 to his tenants.

Mr Newsum was accused of putting “wealth before welfare” after he had admitted failing to:

  • Have a suitable fire risk assessment (no assessment had been carried out since 2004)
  • Take general fire precautions
  • Equip premises with appropriate fire detectors and alarms
  • Provide self-closing fire doors
  • Ensure fire doors were not wedged open

During the night of 22nd June 2014 a serious fire, caused by a discarded cigarette, swept through the building in Cleethorpes. Fire alarms failed to sound and the Telegraph reports that he had failed to check whether they were functioning correctly.

The judge said it was “a matter of sheer good fortune” that all the tenants escaped the fire.

Mr Newsum has 18 months in which to pay the costs and compensation.