10:19AM, Tuesday 01 June 2021
Malik’s restaurant in Cookham has been fined £85,000 over a number of ‘serious’ fire safety breaches discovered following a major blaze at the venue.
The curry house, in Cookham High Street, was gutted by a large fire in the early hours of December 6, 2016.
An investigation by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) revealed the restaurant had insufficient fire alarm and detection in the residential part of the building.
Investigators also discovered a lack of compliant fire doors.
Beta UK Limited, the company in charge of the restaurant, appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on October 23 last year and pleaded guilty to six charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Fire damage from the blaze in December 2016
The company was fined £85,000 and told to cover the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority’s prosecution costs.
An appeal over the conviction was heard at Reading Crown Court on May 6 but the fine was upheld.
Jess James, area manager at RBFRS, said: “As this case strongly illustrates, complying with fire safety legislation is not optional.
“Failure to do so can put people’s lives at risk.
“We will always work with businesses but, as with this case, we won’t hesitate to prosecute if members of our communities are put at risk.”
Councillor Colin Dudley, chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said: “The majority of business owners comply with fire safety legislation but as this case shows, the consequences of failing to comply are serious. Following the incident in December 2016, our teams have worked to ensure that the owner of this restaurant was not able to escape the law.
“The message is clear – all business owners have a duty to help keep their staff and our communities safe. If they put anyone at risk by breaking the law, we will prosecute.”
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.