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Landlord jailed over boiler fears

PUBLISHED: 18:16 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:58 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A LANDLORD of two Great Yarmouth properties was jailed for 12 weeks today for breaching health and safety regulations.

Madhu Bhajanehatti, 34, persistently ignored orders from the Health and Safety Executive for evidence that gas boilers in two flats he owned were safe.

A LANDLORD of two Great Yarmouth properties was jailed for 12 weeks today for breaching health and safety regulations.

Madhu Bhajanehatti, 34, persistently ignored orders from the Health and Safety Executive for evidence that gas boilers in two flats he owned were safe.

In October Bhajanehatti was fined £24,840 when he put tenants at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning after he failed to provide a written record of Corgi registered checks for gas heaters.

Today, he appeared at Yarmouth Magistrates' Court for sentencing after he admitted failing to comply with a court order made in at the last hearing to inspect and do work on boilers in the flats at Wellington Road and Britannia Road.

Geoffrey Knipe, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, said Bhajanehatti, of Keston, Kent, had continually ignored warnings, which if flouted could have serious consequences.

He said: “Every year 30 people die through carbon monoxide appliances and flues which have not been properly inspected or maintained and I'm aware some of those deaths have occurred in this borough.”

The orders imposed at October's hearing required Bhajanehatti to ensure gas appliances and flues were inspected and that gas safety records were presented to the Health and Safety Executive and tenants.

“None of those requests were complied with. No checks had been made to ensure the gas instillation was safe.” said Mr Knipe.

Calvin Saker, mitigating, told the court his client was suffering the affects of the economic downturn, and said the one time successful property developer “had little business acumen”.

Gas safety checks to the two unoccupied flats had now been made but certificates had not been issued because Bhajanehatti was struggling to pay the Corgi registered engineer who carried out the tests.

Mr Saker said: “He had considerable difficulty getting together £1,800. The hard economic times have hit him badly, not only is he struggling to pay loans and mortgages of many thousands of pounds, property prices have fallen considerably.”

The court heard Bhajanehatti's one-time bustling property portfolio of 20 had now been reduced to three properties, two flats in Yarmouth and one house in London.

Bhajanehatti was asked to produce the boiler documents in February 2007 and after he failed continually to reply he was taken to court last October. He pleaded guilty to 12 counts of failing to supply the information and was fined £24,840 and told to pay costs of £13,481. Since then he had sold ten of the flats for £950,000.

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