Crawley B&B boss who ‘put lives at risk’ fined

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The boss of a Crawley B&B has been ordered to pay more than £6,000 after a fire alarm was deliberately turned off, said West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS).

A WSFRS spokesman said Rajesh Bhudiya, a senior employee at the Three Bridges Bed and Breakfast in Three Bridges Road, Crawley, admitted four charges relating to fire safety breaches when he appeared before Worthing Magistrates today (October 9).

She said: “The court heard WSFRS was called to the property in February by a manager employed at the business.

“Officers were so concerned with what they found they issued a prohibition notice, to immediately stop guests sleeping on the second floor and to prevent staff using a food preparation area.

“The manager told officers the fire alarm had not worked for five years and had been deliberately turned off. Fire doors designed to protect guests and staff had been wedged open and proper procedures and training were not in place.”

Bhudiya, who lives in Southview Avenue, London, NW10, was fined £1,000 for each of the four charges he admitted and ordered to pay more than £2,000 towards prosecution and court costs by magistrates who called the issues ‘very serious matters’.”

Speaking after the hearing, Richard Bradley, WSFRS business fire safety officer, said Bhudiya: “Blatantly put the lives of his guests at risk by switching off the fire alarm for a number of years due to a fault on the system. Had a fire occurred there was a high risk of death or serious injury.

“West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service works with businesses to help them understand their responsibilities to fire safety but we will prosecute where serious and deliberate breaches do occur in cases such as this.”

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