Former Sheffield hotelier jailed for breaching fire safety laws

The Cutlers Hotel in Sheffield
The Cutlers Hotel in Sheffield
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The former owner of a hotel in Sheffield city centre has been jailed for breaching fire safety rules.

Amandeep Sandhu, of Turlands Close, Coventry, was sentenced to eight months behind bars on Monday after pleading guilty to five breaches of fire safety laws.

Sandhu, who used to own the Cutlers Hotel on George Street, was prosecuted following a fire safety inspection by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue in September 2014.

Inspectors found that the hotel at that time did not have a working fire alarm and ordered the closure of the 45-bedroom hotel while safety improvements were made.

During a second inspection three days later further fire safety law breaches were discovered.

They found that Sandhu had failed to carry out a suitable fire risk assessment and that the hotel was not equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms.

The hotel also lacked adequate emergency lighting and hotel staff had not been provided with adequate training.

Steve Helps, Head of Prevention and Protection at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We always try to work positively with businesses to comply with fire safety regulation, but this case is a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to comply with those laws.

"Had a fire broken out in these premises then there can be little doubt that lives would have been lost.

"The sentence handed down by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken.”

The hotel is now owned by Saxon Hotels, which bought it from administrators in January 2015 and carried out a full refurbishment.

Its safety systems and procedures were also overhauled and it now has full fire safety approval.

A spokeswoman for Saxon Hotels said: "We would like to point out that Saxon Hotels has no connection at all to the previous owner.

"Saxon Hotels takes guest safety seriously and after purchase we undertook an extensive refurbishment and upgrading of the historic city centre hotel which included all aspects of fire and safety systems.

"We received full approval from the fire services and all other regulatory authorities in order to operate the renovated hotel and we re-opened in September 2015.

"We are proud to have restored this historic city centre hotel to its former glory and to be welcoming guests from across the world to stay with us and enjoy the city of Sheffield."