‘Death trap’ hotel landlord sentenced

Sunny's Inn in Morecambe - the landlord breached 12 fire safety regulations and pleaded guilty at Lancaster Magistrates Court.
Sunny's Inn in Morecambe - the landlord breached 12 fire safety regulations and pleaded guilty at Lancaster Magistrates Court.

The landlord of a ‘death trap’ hotel has escaped jail for breaching fire safety regulations.

Landlord of Sunny’s Inn on West End Road, Morecambe, Syed Masood Ahmed from Preston appeared at Crown Court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to twelve offences that placed people at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire contrary to regulations.

The fire safety breaches came as a result of a complaint made to Lancashire County Council (LCC). Investigators found that several people were staying at the time, with two being long term residents and other short term residents staying for varying periods.

They found that a smoke detector in one of the bedrooms was covered with a plastic bag, and in another bedroom, the smoke detector was covered by a sock, meaning any smoke from a fire would not be detected at an early stage.

The inspection identified significant and serious contraventions of fire safety regulations. Mr Ahmed fully accepted his culpability and his responsibilities under fire regulations.

Michael Duck QC -Recorder (Northern Circuit) sentenced Syed Masood Ahmed to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, 120 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay costs of £10,752. Tony Crook, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “ I hope this case shows that people who have responsibilities to meet fire safety obligations but fail to do so face severe penalties – not just financial but, potentially a custodial sentence as well.”

LFRS said the premises had never re-opened and is now up for sale.