A TAKEAWAY owner has been criticised by a judge for putting lives at risk because of his “disregard” for fire regulations.

District Judge Edward Barr said it was “incredulous” that 31-year-old Mohammed Attique from Eustace Street, Great Lever, came to court to plead poverty without any accounts of paperwork to justify his claim of penury.

Attique ran Tazy’s takeaway in Church Street, Blackpool, where he had two members of staff staying in the flat above when the first of two fires broke out. He admitted nine breaches of fire regulations causing the risk of serious injury or death.

These included fire alarms, fire doors, escape routes, emergency lighting, risk assessments and fire fighting equipment.

Warren Spencer, prosecuting for Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said a fire broke out last November at 3am.

The blaze started in the kitchen and the two men living up stairs woke up — one of them inhaling smoke — to find their escape route smokelogged.

Mr Spencer told Blackpool Magistrates Court: “There was no fire alarm and no fire fighting equipment with which to protect themselves. There was also combustible material on the stairs area and in the basement.”

The men escaped but the fire service served an enforcement notice on Attique, banning him from having people staying on the premises.

Mr Spencer said: “That was fortunate, as in January this year there was another fire in the same takeaway, which also started in the kitchen.”

Asad Khan, defending, said Attique’s insurance company had refused to pay out on both fires.

He added:”The place was barely making a living. Now my client is in debt, facing bankruptcy and his marriage has broken down and when he went to see his father in Spain his son broke his leg.

“It has all been an unmitigated disaster.”

The judge asked Mr Khan whether his client had furnished him with any proof of his financial state and he said he had not.

Judge Barr fined Attique £900 and ordered him to pay £2,607 costs and £120 victims’ surcharge.

The judge added: “You are guilty of gross negligence, despite having one fire you did nothing to make these premises safe.”