Landlord, tenant and restaurant manager convicted of fire safety offences


The landlord, tenant and manager of a Chinese restaurant have together had to pay more than £26,000 at Guildford Crown Court for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Landlord Colin Perry, his tenant Pei Yu Liang, and manager Wen Chun Yeoh, were last week each convicted of between seven and nine breaches of the legislation, having all pleaded not guilty. Mr Perry was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine and another £5,000 in costs, while Ms Yeoh was fined £4,000 plus £5,000 in costs. Lessee Pei Yu Laing was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

The Royal Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, in Tadworth, was found to have no safe escape route from the first floor, an "inadequate" fire alarm system and "inadequate" emergency lighting. The building was in a poor state of repair with areas of high fire loading, while one room was found to contain a stack of bamboo chairs, a petrol strimmer and signs of discarded smoking materials.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service took action in March 2007 following an inspection of the premises. A prohibition notice served previously on the first floor of the premises, which prevented people from sleeping in a dangerous building, was being breached.

Eddie Roberts, Surrey Fire and Rescue's group manager for protection, said:

"This case highlights that liability for fire safety measures can be shared and may not be the sole responsibility of the occupier of the business premises. Responsible persons have a legal obligation to comply with the [Fire Safety Order] and where their responsibilities are not taken seriously, we will consider prosecution."