HUDDERSFIELD PROPERTY MANAGER JAILED AFTER CHILDREN DIE IN FIRE AT RENTED HOUSE
 

A property manager has been jailed for a year for health and safety failings, after two young boys died in a fire in a rented house with no smoke alarms.

Three-year-old Logan Taylor and his brother Jake, two, died in the blaze in Fartown, Huddersfield in February 2016.

At Leeds Crown Court, Kamal Bains, whose property firm managed the house, admitted a breach of health safety law.

Bains, 51, of Stableford Gardens, Huddersfield, had faced manslaughter charges which were dropped.

At the sentencing hearing, judge Mr Justice Males told him: "Your failure to fit smoke alarms was a significant cause of the children's deaths."

Bains was a director at now-defunct Prime Property Estates (Yorkshire), which maintained 140 homes in Huddersfield on behalf of private landlords for 10% of the rent.

Fire investigators found the blaze at the three-bedroom semi-detached house started with an electrical fault in a TV in the boys' bedroom.

Bains told police smoke alarms had been installed, but fire investigators found no trace, the court previously heard.

Prosecutor Allan Compton told the court the deaths were "eminently avoidable" and said tests had proven their mother would have had time to rescue the boys if an alarm had been fitted.

Mr Justice Males also told the court: "I want to conclude by making it absolutely clear that, whatever some people might think, the sentence which I am passing today is not in any way a reflection of the value of the lives which have been lost.

"The lives of Logan and Jake were of infinite value and nobody must be in under any misapprehension about that."

At a previous hearing, mother Emma Taylor told the court she had asked Bains "time after time" to fit fire alarms at the property.

The jury heard her "desperate" attempts to rescue her sons were unsuccessful when she was beaten back by smoke and flames.

Ms Taylor and father Jamie Casey said in statement: "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."

[BBC News Leeds & West Yorkshire, Wednesday 18 July 2018

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-44873489]