A duo linked to a pizza takeaway shop in Maidstone have been fined by Magistrates for breaching fire safety regulations and putting people at risk. 

A takeaway franchisee and employer who allowed people to sleep in dangerous conditions, have been fined by a court and ordered to pay £15,400 in costs. 

In December 2018 Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) building fire safety inspectors visited Jano Jabbarkhel and Sharbat Khan Jabarkhail at Tops Pizza in Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. They were issued with a prohibition notice* to prevent anyone from living in the property, due to safety concerns linked to the lack of an adequate smoke alarm system and having no protected escape route.

*A prohibition notice is a legal direction issued by KFRS when the lack of fire safety arrangements at a premise puts people’s lives at risk in the event of fire.

During an initial follow up visit to Tops Pizza, where Jabbarkhel was the franchisee holder and Jabarkhail was the named employer, KFRS inspectors found they were complying with the requirement of the notice not to allow sleeping within the property, as remedial works had not yet been completed. 

People were found to be sleeping in the building

However, in September 2020 when a routine compliance check was carried out, people were found to be sleeping in the building in contravention of the notice, and the unsafe conditions remained. 

Jabbarkhel and Jabarkhail, both from, Maidstone, were each sentenced on Wednesday, 12 October at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court, where they each received a fine of £1,000 – reduced to £733 to reflect their early guilty pleas for the offence.** 

They were also each ordered to pay £7,700 in costs to KFRS and a victim surcharge of £66 was applied to each defendant. 

Jabbarkhel and Jabarkhail are no longer associated with the business or building.

Mark Woodward, KFRS’ Assistant Director for Customer and Building Safety, said: “The outcome of this case sends a clear and important message to anyone who is responsible for a business – by law they must ensure their premises and employees are safe. 

“KFRS is committed to ensuring that all buildings in Kent and Medway are fire compliant, and we will take all the necessary steps to make sure fire safety regulations are adhered to, including enforcement action and prosecution.” 

It is important for businesses to know and understand their legal responsibilities in relation to fire safety and their premises, and what is required. Advice and information is available on the KFRS website, or contact KFRS’ business helpline on 01622 212 442, or email buildingsafetyenquiry@kent.fire-uk.org 

**Full details of the offence:  
They each were “a person who had control of The Premises failed to comply with a restriction imposed by a Prohibition Notice under Article 31 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, dated 21st December 2018, which was in force in respect of the Premises, namely “The first floor residential rooms and common areas are prohibited for the purposes of sleeping and living accommodation.”

By Ed

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