A landlord who failed to fit working smoke alarms in a rented property has been jailed in a landmark case after two young boys died in a fire.
Kamal Bains from Sheffield was told that his negligence in failing to install smoke detectors at the property in Huddersfield, Yorkshire was a ‘significant cause’ of the deaths of 3 year old Logan Taylor, and toddler Jake Casey.
The boys died when an electrical fault in a TV caused a fire in their bedroom in February 2016. Their mother Emma Taylor was beaten back by heat as she tried to rescue them Leeds Crown Court heard.
Bains, whose property company managed the house, admitted a breach of Health & Safety law in July in a case believed to be the first of its kind.
West Yorkshire Police said the prosecution was the first to be brought since legislation was passed in October 2015 which requires private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties.
Bains had been on trial for manslaughter, but the charges were dropped after he admitted the health and safety violations.
Sentencing him on Wednesday, Judge Mr Justice Males, told him: “Your failure to fit smoke alarms was a significant cause of the children’s deaths.
“The harm caused by your failure could not have been more serious.”
The boys’ mother told the two-week trial, which ended when the manslaughter charges were dropped, that she asked Bains “time after time” to fit alarms at the house he managed.
This case is surely a stark and tragic reminder to landlords and letting agents that they have a duty to ensure all their properties are fully equipped with all adequate safety measures to ensure the safety of their tenants … and make sure that this never happens again.
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