Owners of a Birmingham banqueting suite where a ceiling collapsed on a school event and the builder who installed have been ordered to pay a total of £15,000 in fines.

Jami Mosque and Islamic Centre (Birmingham) Trustees Limited (JMIC) based at Coventry Road, which owns Al-Miraj Banqueting Suite, in Wordsworth Road, Small Heath – pleaded guilty on 22 January 2020 to offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Contractor Peter Lakin of Southfield Drive, Hall Green, had pleaded guilty on 14 November 2019 to one offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at an earlier hearing.

JMIC was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £3,000. Mr Lakin was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

The prosecution followed an incident at Al-Miraj Banqueting Suite on 20 July 2017, when a large section of the suspended ceiling fell onto children and adults at a school event. Around 400 people were in attendance, however no one was seriously injured.

Birmingham City Council investigated the incident and found that the suspended ceiling had been installed approximately 17 months earlier. Construction of suspended ceilings is subject to building regulations approval, which requires detailed structural drawings and calculations to be submitted to the council for approval.

On the day of the collapse, the fixings to the original suspended ceiling failed because they were overloaded by the new suspended ceiling installed by Mr Lakin.

Mark Croxford, Head of Environmental Health at Birmingham City Council, said: “This incident shows what can happen if a business fails to ensure that building works are carried out in accordance with health and safety requirements – this could have resulted in serious or life-changing injuries to those from the school.

“Fortunately, an off-duty fire officer recognised what was occurring and manged to cause an evacuation before the ceiling completely failed. We will continue to take enforcement action where minimum standards of health and safety are not met or regulations are flouted.”

The ceiling at Al-Miraj Banqueting Suite was reconstructed and a building regulation approval was submitted to Acivico (Building Consultancy) Ltd, which is wholly owned by the city council.