Fenton landlord fined £4,000 after death of tenant Stacy Bowman
A LANDLORD has been fined £4,000 after failing to repair damp and mould at a house where a 25-year-old pregnant mum died suddenly from a chest condition.
Saint Pir Pandariman was taken to court after he refused calls for repairs to be carried out at the Fenton home where Stacy Bowman died in her sleep.
Now the landlord has been fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs after admitting two charges of failing to respond to a council enforcement notice.
Environmental health officers from Stoke-on-Trent City Council found a number of hazards at the Oldfield Street house, including:
'Excess cold' due to a broken boiler timer;
Rising damp and mould;
No gas safety certificate;
Sub-standard electrical wiring;
Blocked drains with water spilling out into the yard.
Stacy's husband Lee Bowman believes the condition of the property may have contributed to her death.
Mum-of-one Stacy, who is believed to have complained of several chest infections after moving into the house in August last year, was five months' pregnant with the newlywed couple's first child when she died.
Thirty-two-year-old barman Lee, who now lives in Rhyl, said: "I don't feel it's a tough enough punishment and I don't want anybody else to ever have to go through what I've been through.
"I find it repulsive because at the end of the day I believe the state of the property was a major factor in what happened to Stacy.
"I still find it impossible to understand how a young healthy woman can go to sleep one night and never wake up.
"I now feel like Stacy's life has been valued at £4,000."
Pandariman was charged with two offences after a second property owned by the landlord's company SPP Properties in Oldfield Street was also found to be in a state of disrepair.
Stafford Magistrates Court heard how the Fenton-based landlord was served with an enforcement notice making him legally obliged to complete the work on the Bowman's home by November 25 last year.
Inspectors visited again on December 2 and discovered the repairs had not been carried out.
Stacy died on December 4, and a post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death to be inflammation of the heart and lungs.
Prosecutor Trevor Vernon said: "None of the work had been carried out. The hazard and defects remained in place. There was a concern about whether these properties provided a safe environment in which to live."
Pandariman originally denied the charges but later changed his plea to guilty.
His solicitor James Bide-Thomas who claimed the hazards did not pose an immediate risk.
He said: "The enforcement notices were not the most serious step that could have been taken.
"If there is any immediate risk to people's health then, quite simply, a prohibition notice would have been set up and the property would have been evacuated."