The boss of a cinema has been fined for putting workers and members of the public at risk of exposure to asbestos.

James Hannaway was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after he allowed refurbishment of the derelict multi-screen Alpha Cinema in  St Albans to begin in 2010 without proper checks for asbestos.

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard that in April 2012, Hannaway went on to engage around 30 members of the public to remove the debris from the demolition work over the course of two days.

An asbestos survey was eventually carried out in early October 2012, which identified the presence of asbestos in the building (after the debris removal), and recommended that no-one entered the affected areas.

Despite this, the court was told Hannaway was seen taking people into the building to view the ongoing work. He pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £11,660 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.

The story can be read in full here.