Landlord pleads guilty to fire safety breaches

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THE landlord and registered owner of a house in Fishermead where a mother and her daughter died in a fire has pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching fire safety regulations.

Lookman Adeyemi, of Buckfast Avenue, Bletchley, appeared before His Honour Justice Lord Parmoor at Amersham Law Courts on Thursday.

He was charged with placing people at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire because:

> He failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk;

> He failed to ensure that, in the event of danger, it was possible for people to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible;

> There were insufficient fire detectors and alarms at the premises.

His plea of not guilty to a fourth count – that there was inadequate emergency lighting in the premises – was accepted.

Mr Adeyemi will be sentenced on March 29.

The case against him was brought by Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, following a fire at 200 Fishermead Boulevard, Fishermead, on September 5, 2010.

Tenant Bola Ejifunmilayo and her three-year-old daughter Fiyin, both died from smoke inhalation as a result of a fire at the three-storey property.

Wheelchair-bound Barbara Zhanje is currently serving a 12-year sentence for arson with two counts of manslaughter.

The court heard last year how she had gone to visit her ex-boyfriend, who lived in one of the property’s five bedsits, and caused a fire in his absence.

Chris Bailey, group manager of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “We are very pleased with the outcome. We look forward with interest to the judge’s sentencing remarks.

“The judge made it clear to the defendant that he could not rule out a custodial sentence.”

Mr Adeyemi was granted unconditional bail.

> Prosecutions by fire authorities are relatively rare and only carried out when all attempts to negotiate with property owners or landlords have failed.