A HOTEL owner has appeared in court, accused of risking the lives of residents with inadequate fire safety measures.

Dr Subhash Jajoo, who owns The Pack Horse hotel in Nelson Square, Bolton, pleaded not guilty to 13 charges at Bolton Magistrates Court yesterday.

Warren Spencer, prosecuting, said the charges related to a safety inspection of the hotel on December 15, 2008, when a fire officer detected a number of alleged offences.

The solicitor told the court that the matters did not relate to a fire and that no-one had been injured.

Jajoo, aged 58, who gave his address as Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield.

He was charged with failing to safeguard the safety of residents in the case of fire which placed one or more residents at risk of death or serious injury.

The charges include: l Not having a suitable system of maintenance and failing to have a fire alarm in efficient working order l A closed roller shutter door was blocking a fire exit l Rolls of carpet were stored in the escape route from The Oak Room l A wooden table adjacent to the Trafalgar Room was blocking an emergency exit route l An air conditioning unit was partially blocking an external escape l Some corridors did not have adequate smoke doors l There was a failure to keep self-closing, fire resisting doors in working order to some rooms and the first floor kitchen The trial is due to start at the magistrates’ court on May 25 and could last three days.

The Bolton News has recently reported that the hotel closed in November last year due to problems with heating and electricity.

It remained closed over Christmas and has cancelled wedding receptions planned for later this year.