Norton fire tragedy man denies charges
THE landlord at flats where two apprentice jockeys died in a blaze has denied a series of fire safety offences.
Alan Foster, 65, is accused of endangering lives in the Malton flats and also in another nearby block of flats on dates from March 2009 to August 2011.
Jamie Kyne, 18, and Jan Wilson, 19, died when fire tore through the flats at The Tannery, Buckrose Court, in September 2009.
The young jockeys died on an upper floor after labourer Peter Brown, now 40, started a fire as they slept at 2am. Foster, of Buckrose Court, appeared at Leeds Crown Court yesterday.
He is alleged to have put the residents of the jockeys’ block of flats in danger of death or serious injury by failing to set up proper evacuation procedures, allowing combustible items and other material to be stored on and around a staircase and failing to maintain fire safety devices including smoke alarms properly between March 5 and September 6, 2009.
He is also accused of failing to carry out reasonable fire precautions and to make a proper assessment of the potentially fatal risks to which residents of The Tannery were exposed between the same dates.
Foster will stand trial for all five charges relating to The Tannery on May 13 at Leeds Crown Court, when he will also be tried on four charges relating to Flats 1 to 12, Buckrose House on Commercial Street, Norton.
He is alleged to have failed to take reasonable fire precautions at Buckrose House between September 4, 2009 and November 13, 2009, and on August 18, 2011, and to have failed to make a proper risk assessment of the same premises on the same dates.
All the charges claim that Foster exposed people to the risk of death or serious injury by his action.
He was released on unconditional bail.