Hotelier fails in bid to quash prison sentence for fire safety breaches

28th June 2017

Hotelier fails in bid to quash prison sentence for fire safety breaches

Fire safety is at the top of the national agenda following the recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London, which claimed the lives of more than 70 people – with many more residents still unaccounted for.

The issue was also the focus of a recent court case, in which a hotelier appealed against a prison sentence for a string of breaches of fire safety laws.

Amandeep Sandhu, the former owner of the Cutlers Hotel in Sheffield, was jailed for eight months in May after pleading guilty to five offences. He appealed against the severity of the punishment earlier this month, citing newspaper reports of similar cases in which defendants received suspended sentences and not immediate prison terms.

However, the Court of Appeal rejected his argument, stating that the cuttings did not represent full or authorised accounts of the cases.

Sandhu, from Coventry, was prosecuted following a fire safety inspection by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue in September 2014, which found that the hotel did not have a working fire alarm.

During a second inspection three days later, further fire safety breaches were discovered. Sandhu had failed to carry out a suitable fire risk assessment and the hotel was not equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms. The 45-bed facility also lacked adequate emergency lighting and hotel staff had not been provided with adequate training.

The dependent’s appeal against his sentence was recently rejected by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that, while there were no sentencing guidelines, the recorder had been assisted by case law and similar guidance on breaches of health and safety laws.

While no injury had been caused, a fire could have had catastrophic results, putting staff and guests at serious risk of injury or death.

The court ruled that the recorder’s decision to take a starting point of 12 months’ imprisonment before reducing it to eight months as credit for a guilty plea was correct.

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.

How can Gotelee help?

If you are facing investigation or prosecution, Gotelee’s criminal law experts can provide guidance and advice to help you through the process.

Whatever the allegation, our lawyers can minimise the impact and achieve a positive outcome for our clients.

To find out more, call us on 01473 298141 or visit our solicitors in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.

Practice Areas
Criminal Law Solicitors
Blog Posts

Hundreds of cases dropped over evidence disclosure failings


The right to a fair trial is one of the fundamental principles of a…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Inheritance Tax and Wills Planning Seminar


What the seminar will cover... Inheritance Tax: - When does it apply; what are…

Read More
News Posts

Worrying rise in numbers of botched cosmetic procedures


They were once the preserve of the rich and famous but in recent times…

Read More


"The friendliness of Sally Pryke making me feel at ease during the whole process"

- BV

"Always kept me informed of the progress"

- CP

"Helen Stuart was fantastic and I couldn't have asked for a better solicitor!"

- KM

"Everything was dealt with in a compassionate and friendly manner"

- AW

"Pat's service is always extremely efficient and very approachable"

- AO

"Relieved that I could leave you to deal with the legal aspect of my late husbands estate"

- DG

"We cannot thank you enough for all your hard work and sticking with us. You have been amazing and showed a lot of patience when dealing with this case and all for no reward for yourself, thank you."

- Dean Kentfield

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Hammond at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.