King's Lynn resturant owner says he's sorry, after he's fined for breaching a fire notice

PUBLISHED: 17:52 29 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:52 29 January 2015

Marmaris restaurant, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Marmaris restaurant, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The owner of a King's Lynn restaurant who was hit with a bill totalling £4,200 after he allowed people to sleep at the premises, despite a ban, said today he was "sorry".

A Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that dangerous conditions were identified during an investigation following a blaze at the Marmaris restaurant, Southgates, in the early hours of July 16, 2013.

Due to the seriousness of the conditions above the restaurant, the fire service immediately issued a notice under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to prohibit sleeping on the first and second floors due to the risk of serious personal injury in the event of a fire occurring.

The fire service revisited the premises on October 7, 2013, and found that people were still sleeping on the premises, constituting as a breach of the prohibition notice.

Following a guilty plea to breaching the conditions of the notice, Kings Lynn magistrates’ court today sentenced Celal Kara, 27, to a £3000 fine, reduced to £2000 for an early guilty plea.

He was also ordered to pay £2000 towards costs and a £200 victims of crime surcharge.

Speaking after the case, Mr Kara said: “I did not want to break the law. My English was not good.

“I’m sorry for what happened, and everything is fine now. I feel ashamed that I broke the law.”

The fire service is reminding owners of restaurants with sleeping accommodation above their business of their legal responsibilities following the court case.

Group manager Richard Herrell said: “Failure to comply with a formal notice is an offence that carries significant penalties including imprisonment. Owners of any business need to ensure that they comply with any formal notice issued by the fire service.”

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