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Variation to Sentence

10th May 2015

Following the prosecution and sentencing on 27/03/2015 of a business operating in York, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has appealed to the courts for the sentence to be varied.

Following inspection of the American Nails premises at 8 Stonegate York, by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officers, in July 2012, a prohibition notice was issued to prevent sleeping on the premises.

Due to the seriousness of these fire safety deficiencies, which had been present for a number of years, the initial failure to comply with the enforcement notice and failure to adhere to the requirements of the prohibition notice North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority took the decision to prosecute those responsible , Mr Vi Long Nhan and Mrs Thu Ho.

On 27th March 2015 at York Crown Court Mr Vi Long Nhan was given a 6 month suspended prison sentence and was also ordered to pay £3,000 in prosecution costs within 12 months.

On the same date Mrs Thu Ho was given a 7month suspended prison sentence and was also ordered to pay £10,000 prosecution costs within 36 months. The time frame of 36 months being given owing to alleged limited financial means of Mrs Thu Ho.

On 6th May 2015 at Bradford Crown Court His Honour Judge Burn heard an appeal from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Rules 2014.  A financial investigation recently carried out by Thames Valley Police revealed that Mrs Thu Ho was not of limited financial means and that she was also a company shareholder.  Unfortunately neither the Prosecution or the Court was aware of this at the time of sentence.

HHJ Burn heard representation from Mrs Thu Ho’s barrister and from the prosecution.  HHJ Burn decided to uphold the appeal and varied the sentence accordingly. He ordered that Mrs Thu Ho now pay, in full, the prosecution costs of £10,000 awarded to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, within 90 days. 

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority urge business owners and those with responsibility for any premises, where the fire safety order applies, to ensure that they have conducted their fire risk assessment or reviewed any existing fire risk assessment when this is required. It is important that they are aware of the legislative obligations they need to comply with including having an up to date fire risk assessment.

In order to assist the business community to understand their responsibilities under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service organise a series of information seminars throughout the county.

If you are a member of the North Yorkshire business community and would like to attend one of these seminars, you can register your interest by emailing business.requests@northyorksfire.gov.uk or by visiting our website www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/businesssafety/seminars

For other fire safety information call the Fire Safety Advice Line (01609) 788545 or visit our website www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/businesssafety 

ENDS

Notes to Editor

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) is legislation that covers all premises other than domestic dwellings and certain special exemptions and its purpose is to protect occupants from fire.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service carries out around 2000 audits in business premises each year. These audits look at the fire risk assessment which the person responsible for the business is obliged to ensure has been conducted. The audit also checks the findings of the fire risk assessment against the fire safety measures and management systems that are in place within the premises.

 

 

 

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