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£124,455 Fine for Care Home Fire Safety Breaches in Bexhill-on-Sea

District Judge issues substantial penalties to Care Pro directors for fire safety non-compliance.

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) has issued a stern reminder to property owners about the critical importance of adhering to fire safety regulations following a significant court ruling on 9th July 2024. The directors of Care Pro (Southeast) Limited have been fined a total of £124,455 for multiple fire safety violations at several care home properties.

Mr. Thuraisamy Ravichandran and Mrs. Radha Ravichandran, directors of Care Pro (Southeast) Limited, admitted to 12 fire safety offences in April 2024 at Brighton Magistrates Court. Sentencing was subsequently deferred to the District Magistrates Court and delivered today at 10:00 AM by District Judge Szagun.

The offences, which were identified during inspections in late 2022, involved serious breaches of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 across four properties in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex.

Summary of Offences:

Park Apartments, 14 Egerton Road: Four offences

Failure to take general fire precautions (Article 8)
Failure to conduct a risk assessment (Article 9)
Failure in fire-fighting and detection (Article 13)
Failure in maintenance (Article 17)
Eden Lodge, 16 Egerton Road: Two offences

Failure to take general fire precautions (Article 8)
Failure in fire-fighting and detection (Article 13)
Park View, 25 Egerton Road: Three offences

Failure to take general fire precautions (Article 8)
Failure to conduct a risk assessment (Article 9)
Failure in fire-fighting and detection (Article 13)
Beau Lodge, 7 Jameson Road: Three offences

Failure to take general fire precautions (Article 8)
Failure to conduct a risk assessment (Article 9)
Failure in fire-fighting and detection (Article 13)
District Judge Szagun highlighted the high culpability and medium level of harm in her judgement, noting the increased risk to vulnerable residents due to defective fire doors and inadequate detection and alarm systems. She emphasized the directors’ responsibility to understand and comply with fire safety regulations.

The defendants were fined £27,500 per offence for four of the most serious offences, amounting to £110,000. Additional costs included a £2000 victim surcharge and £12,455 for legal fees and costs.

Statements from ESFRS Officials:

Area Manager George O’Reilly, head of Fire Safety for ESFRS, expressed gratitude to the court and his team for their efforts:

“I would like to thank the Court for their time and deliberations in this matter as well as my legal team and staff for their efforts in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. ESFRS are legally required to enforce the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. We take this responsibility seriously and we will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone responsible for placing people at risk of death or injury from fire due to their failures to meet the requirements of this legislation.”

Group Protection Legislation and Enforcement Manager Craig Williams emphasized the seriousness of the case:

“The fire service considers this one of the most serious cases we have ever prosecuted due to a number of offences found in various premises operated by the Company. The fine handed down by the court today reflects the serious nature of the offences. Owners and those responsible for any premises where the Fire Service find fire safety contraventions are reminded of the potential consequences, including unlimited fines and potential custodial sentences.”

This ruling serves as a critical reminder of the importance of fire safety compliance to protect lives and propert

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