Shisha managers jailed for "blatant' fire risk in Manchester
Six people who ran a shisha bar in Manchester have been sentenced for a "blatant disregard" for fire safety.
Manchester Crown Court heard fire exits were blocked with barrels of fuel, there was a flammable fabric marquee and fire safety notices had been torn down at the Oasis Lounge in Hulme.
Wali Yaqub, 36, from Burnage, was sentenced to 19 months in his absence after failing to appear in court.
Two others were jailed and three were given non-custodial sentences.
Passing sentence, judge Michael Leeming QC said: "Those people who invested money in this enterprise put profit before the safety of the paying public.
"It was good fortune rather than good management that no fire took place. Had there been a fire the risk to life would have been catastrophic."
At an earlier hearing Yakub produced a letter claiming he was suffering from Ebola in Pakistan, but the judge said the letter was "entirely bogus and designed to frustrate sentence proceedings".
- Tajamul Khan, 26, of Nebo Street, Bolton was jailed for 14 months;
- Ishtiaq Ahmed, 36, of Chapelway Gardens, Royton was jailed for 34 weeks;
- Salma Jangeer, 32, was sentenced to 38 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months;
- Adeel Bhatti, 26, of Chapel Way Gardens, Oldham was given a 12 month community order
- Bushra Javed, 25, of Stainer Street, Longsight was also given a community order
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's Peter O'Reilly said it was one of the most complex fire safety prosecutions ever held in the UK.
"The defendants showed a blatant disregard for fire safety," he said.
"These criminals spurned our offers of help time and time again now they've paid the price for their actions."