A petrol station owner has been fined more than £4,000 after he was prosecuted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Sultan Hayat, the owner of Bexhill Service Station, Barnhorn Road, Bexhill, pleaded guilty at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Friday 1 April to two offences of failing to comply with formal requests for information related to an Improvement Notice and an Enforcement Notice. Hayat was fined a total of £4,028.60 which included full costs for the Fire Authority and a victim surcharge.

In November 2015, the service’s petroleum inspecting officers wrote to Hayat requesting information regarding a submersible pump used at the petrol station and it’s suitability for use in a flammable atmosphere. At the same time, the service’s business safety inspecting officers requested information regarding the findings of the fire risk assessment for Hayat’s premises.

As Hayat continually failed to provide the requested information the service deemed it necessary to prosecute.

In sentencing Hayat the magistrate said that they were disappointed with the abject run-around that Hayat had put East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to. They added that as an experienced petrol station owner Hayat should know all the legislation that must be adhered to and that he had put people’s lives at risk.

The magistrate also stated that Hayat had caused the Fire Service to spend a lot of time trying to make the petrol station safer, which they should not need to do. Hayat was told that it was situations like his that caused East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to come knocking on peoples doors and that the Magistrates Bench was grateful that the Service do.

Group manager Richard Fowler, business safety manager for ESFRS, said: “Failure to provide information to an inspecting officer is a serious matter and we are pleased that the court took such a firm line in this case.”

He added: “A prosecution could have been avoided if Hayat had taken the advice of the inspecting officers and provided the information when requested.”