The owners of a Cowes restaurant have both been fined £1700 and ordered to pay costs after admitting breaking an order related to fire safety at the property.
Abdul Kalam and Salim Islam, who both run Saffron in Cowes High Street, pleaded guilty to a charge in relation to UK fire safety regulations.
The prosecution was brought by the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service after inspections at the property discovered a room above the restaurant was being used for sleeping accommodation. This was not allowed as in April 2009 the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service had issued a Prohibition Notice following a visit to the building, where it was found there were inadequate means of escape from the first floor.
The order prevented Mr Kalam and Mr Islam from using the first floor for accommodation until adequate means of escape were in place.
A visit by an officer from the fire and rescue service in February 2010 found the first floor was still being used for sleeping accommodation and the concerns over the means of escape still remained, and IW Council subsequently began legal action.
Both Mr Kalam and Mr Islam were ordered by the Court to pay a total of £2065 each. It is the first time the local authority has brought such a case to court.
Graham Orchard from the IW Fire and Rescue Service, who is responsible for community fire prevention and protection, said “This prosecution demonstrates that the Fire and Rescue Service takes the safety of our business communities and members of the public very seriously.
“Despite repeated warnings and visits, the first floor at Saffron continued to be used for sleeping accommodation. This put at risk those who used the property because the building did not have a satisfactory means of escape should there be an incident such as a fire.
“Fire safety regulations on licensed premises are there for a reason and we will not tolerate any disregard for the law”