When inspectors arrived to investigate the Tokyo nightclub in York, owned by Aaron Mellor they found a number of failings, including obstructed emergency exits, faulty smoke detectors and emergency lighting and fire doors that didn’t work properly. There was also an occupied bedsit on the premises which again had blocked off emergency exits.
Investigators were also tipped off about fire safety failings at Mr Mellor’s other nightclub in Lincoln, also named Tokyo. Inspectors found a string of fire safety offences similar to that found in Mr Mellor’s York based nightclub. Emergency services even had to stay on the premises until it closed on one occasion to ensure members of the public were able to get home safely.
Mr Mellor was found guilty of twelve charges failing to comply with fire safety requirements in both premises, after a joint prosecution from North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Services. Tokyo Industries Ltd, Mr Mellor’s company was also found guilty of three charges of failing to comply with fire safety requirements at the York venue. Mr Mellor was ordered to pay a combined total of £173,000 for offences in both the York and Lincoln nightclubs.
Stephen Ashurst from the York Recorder said “those likely to have been most affected would have been a large number of largely
young people, many of whom would be vulnerable in the sense of having their judgement and faculties affected by alcohol”.
Mr Mellor said that “guest and staff safety is something we have always held in high regard”. He also acknowledged that the findings were “totally unacceptable and local management failed to address key issues”.