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Penhallow Hotel owners fined £80K for safety breaches

  • 5-4-2011

The owners of a Cornish hotel destroyed by fire have been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £62,000 costs for failing to meet fire safety standards.

Three Staffordshire people died in the blaze at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay in August 2007.

In March O&C Holdsworth Ltd admitted failing to provide proper fire detection and alarm systems and failing to make a proper risk assessment.

The company, from Halifax, Yorkshire, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court.

Holidaymakers Joan Harper, 80, Monica Hughes, 86, and her son Peter, 43, died in the blaze, described by firefighters as the worst hotel fire in Britain for 40 years.

Mr Hughes, a teacher from Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire, jumped from a third-floor window after trying in vain to save his mother.

Ms Harper, of Stoke-on-Trent, was also trapped, while her twin sister Marjorie Brys was one of more than 90 people who escaped the four-storey hotel.

John Hughes, Mrs Hughes' son and Peter's brother, said after the case: "To say I am disappointed with it is an understatement, it is a travesty.

"It should have been at least £500,000 in my estimation. I was hoping that a large fine would have sent a message to the hotel industry at least."

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC


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