Newquay hotel owners to be sentenced over fatal fire

The owners of a hotel in Newquay which burned down four years ago, in a fire that caused the loss of three lives, are to be sentenced in Truro Crown Court.

The fire at the Penhallow Hotel broke out in August 2007, with the most likely cause of the blaze believed to be arson. Firefighters at the scene later described the fire as the worst they’d seen in Britain in forty years.

More than 90 people escaped the blaze, but 80-year-old Joan Harper, 86-year-old Monica Hughes and her 43-year-old son Peter were not so lucky. They were trapped in the burning hotel and tragically lost their lives.

The company which owns the hotel, the Halifax-based O&C Holdsworth Ltd, is now to face sentencing in Truro Crown Court over allegations that the proper fire safety procedures were not carried out. The company admitted failing to ensure fire alarms and smoke detectors were in full working order, as well as a failure to conduct a proper risk assessment.

Also appearing in court with the company directors is independent fire safety expert Martin Tricker, who denies failing to make a proper assessment of fire safety risks at the Penhallow Hotel.