North Hinksey bed and breakfast owner receives suspended prison sentence for fire safety breaches

The owner of Manor Farm Bed and Breakfast in North Hinksey has been sentenced by Oxford Crown Court for multiple breaches of fire safety legislation, which put lives in danger. He received 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

 Fire safety inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service visited the premises in August 2019, and found that the business owner, Mr Cassian Hazlewood, had failed to make an adequate fire risk assessment. There were no working smoke alarms, or a suitable emergency escape route. 

 The business consisted of three main buildings that operated as a bed and breakfast. Following a complaint that fire safety measures were insufficient, a fire safety audit was conducted.

 Inspectors considered the premises so dangerous that they were left with no alternative but to prohibit use of the building, issuing a prohibition notice for sleeping until safety measures were improved.

 Dan Weeks, from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our inspectors take these issues very seriously and will not hesitate to take action where they find that the law has been broken. I’m asking businesses throughout Oxfordshire to take note of the outcome of this case. The custodial sentence is significant and gives a clear message about how seriously everyone should treat fire safety regulations, which are in place to save lives.”

The investigation by Oxfordshire County Council’s fire safety team resulted in Mr Hazelwood appearing in court in January this year, where he pleaded guilty to four charges of failure to carry out a suitable fire risk assessment, failure to provide an adequate fire alarm and detection system, failure to provide adequate means of escape and failure to ensure facilities equipment and devices were suitably maintained.  Sentencing took place on 25 March.

Dan Weeks continued: “We are finding an increasing number of businesses where no fire safety measures have been implemented. We are asking all business owners, who have a legal duty, to ensure fire safety requirements are in place.”

Any business owner or employee can seek fire safety advice by emailing fire.service@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s vision is to work every day to save and improve the lives of people across the county. For more information, visit www.365alive.co.uk