Bollywoods owner fined £40,000 over fire safety offences

Hanif Ali, who runs Bollywoods in Fore Street, pleaded guilty to nine offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at the town’s magistrates’ court on Tuesday 1 December 2009

He was fined £3,500 for each offence and £8,500 in costs.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service officers visited the premises on March 18 and served a prohibition notice for non-compliance with the 2005 act, putting the building’s upper floors out of use.

Offences included blocking escape exits, using stairs as storage space, unsafe electrical wiring, not having fire fighting equipment, obstructing escape between the first and second floors and missing floorboards, which would enable a fire to quickly spread and make it difficult for people on higher levels to leave.

Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “The offences committed were so serious that we felt a prosecution was in the public interest.