Preston former hotel landlord must pay hefty fines and costs over fire flouts that put lives at risk

The former landlord of a Preston hotel has found himself nearly £40,000 worse off after a string of fire safety flouts were discovered at the premises.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 11:43 am
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 12:43 pm
Derby Court Hotel

Graham Hammer, 67, of Higher Walton Road, Preston, was prosecuted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service after a number of safety issues were revealed during an inspection of the Derby Court Hotel on Pole Street, which traded under a business called S&G properties.

Hammer, who has since sold the hotel and retired, admitted four fire safety failure offences.

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Derby Court Hotel

He said: “The real problem here is that no thought was given to fire safety, when people were living in the premises in the poor state it was - either generally, or as a result of building work being undertaken.”

“I am particularly concerned to note that a number of residents lived in the building whilst these substantial failures existed, as many as 16 at one stage, including children.”

The first offence relates to holes in the ceiling, which could allow fire to spread into the roof space, placing residents at risk of death or serious injury.

The second is a failure to comply with fire laws by carrying out a suitable fire risk assessment, and the third is a failure to provide adequate fire doors.

The court heard a fire door enabling access to the bar area had been incorrectly fitted and others were ‘stuck’.

The final count regards failing to ensure the facilities were subjected to maintenance and in good repair.

The property was sold in July last year for £325,000 - four months after the inspection that led to the prosecution.

The Post previously revealed Hammer was convicted and fined for similar offences in 2005.

The vacant ground floor of the former hotel in Preston is now to be converted, with space for a betting shop and pub. Applicant Jeff Duddy of Lineneed has permission to transform the hotel’s ground floor.