A LANDLORD has been jailed after “cutting corners” and deliberately putting his “wealth” before the “safety of tenants” according to grimsbytelegraph.co.uk.
He was “wholly money-orientated” and “woefully inadequate” in his duties – and it was only by “good fortune” that nobody died in a serious fire at one of his properties.
He lied to police and risked the lives of his tenants by failing to have a suitable fire risk assessment, a court heard. Keith Newsum, 54, of Humberston Avenue, Humberston, admitted failing to have a sufficient fire risk assessment, failing to take general fire precautions and failing to have premises equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms.
He also admitted failing to provide self-closing fire doors and failing to ensure fire doors were not wedged open.
He was jailed for five months and was ordered to pay £100,000 costs and £4,200 compensation to tenants. Judge Peter Kelson QC told Grimsby Crown Court: “He was wholly money-orientated.
“This case demonstrates how quickly fire spreads and how dangerous it is.
“Whatever he did do was woefully inadequate and a failure to appreciate sufficiently the fire risks.
“You put your wealth before your tenants’ welfare. You did not carry out fire assessments.
“You never took advice from a fire safety expert. You did it all yourself. You put wealth before welfare.
“You were corner-cutting, just as you were with electrical work.
“It’s only by the actions of residents that they all got out alive. It’s a matter of sheer good fortune.”
Newsum had lied to his barrister at a previous hearing but the “lie has been exposed”, said Judge Kelson.
“You are a man consumed by putting your own finances before the safety of your tenants,” he said.
“You were trying to protect your profits. I can’t believe a word you say about your finances.
“You are a landlord who is more concerned with your wealth than your tenants’ welfare. You’re putting profit before safety.
“You have deliberately cut corners to increase your profits. Nothing is ever straightforward with you.”
No risk assessment whatsoever had been carried out since 2004 and the alarms were not inter-connected.
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