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Letting agent jailed after failing to fit smoke alarms at house where boys died

Tragedy during fire in 2016 at a rented property in Huddersfield could have been prevented if smoke alarms had been fitted.

Nigel Lewis

smoke alarms

The parents of two children killed in a house fire have called for more letting agents and landlords to know their legal responsibilities and ensure the safety of tenants.

Parents Emma Taylor and Jamie Casey who in 2016 lost two of their children in a house fire, made the statement following the end of a three-week trial of their letting agent at Leeds Crown Court.

During the proceedings it was revealed that he had failed to fit smoke alarms to their rented house in Huddersfield despite repeated requests to do so.

smoke alarms

The case is believed to be the first of its kind following the introduction of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regulations 2015, which require smoke alarms to be fitted by landlords to properties in the private rented sector.

Yesterday the agent involved, 51-year old Kamal Bains, was sentenced to a year in jail. After initially denying two charges of manslaughter he later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of failing to discharge his duties under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Parents’ statement

Baines, whose agency at one point managed hundreds of properties across Huddersfield, was brought to trial following a fire at the home of Taylor and Casey (pictured, above) during which their two young sons Logan and Jake died of smoke inhalation.

In a joint statement released by their parents, the couple said: “We do hope that this case highlights this important issue and for people to know their responsibilities as landlords or letting agents and to take appropriate action to ensure that any property they are responsible for has working smoke alarms.

“Such a simple check could have saved the lives of our boys and we want to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else.”

 

July 19, 2018

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