Friday 8th May 2015
A COMPANY which ran a potential death trap banqueting venue has been fined £5,000 for safety breaches.
Taj Banqueting Suite Ltd and its two directors were sentenced after a fire at their Dewsbury premises.
The directors, Mahfooz Hussain, 30, of Ouzelwell Crescent, Thornhill Lees, and Mohammed Faraz, 29, of Savile Road, Dewsbury, both admitted failing to comply with safety regulations and were each given a nine-month prison term suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
Leeds Crown Court heard emergency exits at the former library building on Wellington Road were either locked or fastened shut.
Three hundred guests were at a henna party when fire broke out on August 20 last year.
It was only the second event held at the venue.
Flames spread from the kitchen into the main area of the ground floor of the three-storey building.
Guests had to flee through thick smoke after discovering fire exits on the ground and first floor were blocked.
Craig Hassall, prosecuting, said the henna party was organised by Mrs Asma Laher for her daughter.
He said: “At one point it was feared by Mrs Laher that her wheelchair-bound mother was lost within the building.”