Suspended jail sentence for East Budleigh man over unsafe storage of fireworks

PUBLISHED: 18:00 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:06 10 June 2010

AN East Budleigh man who admitted 'unsafely ' storing boxes of explosive fireworks and rockets in his family home has been slapped with six-month suspended jail sentence.

AN East Budleigh man who admitted 'unsafely' storing boxes of explosive fireworks and rockets in his family home has been slapped with six-month suspended jail sentence.

When the home of Nathan James Donovan was searched by the trading standard officers following a tip-off, they found large boxes of fireworks - some opened - being kept around the family home and at a Yettington farm building.

Mr Donovan had pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In addition to the suspended sentence, Mr Donovan, was also ordered to carry out 80 hours community service and told to pay £700 costs.

The court heard how explosive fireworks were being stored in the living room and in the hallway, at the foot of the stairs.

Officers found 80 rockets and a number of boxes - some in opened transit containers.

When officers went to farm buildings at Yettington, used by Mr Donovan, they found more boxes unsafely stored in an insecure barn.

The fireworks were immediately removed in order to make the properties safe.

Peter Greene, operations manager for Devon County Council's Trading Standards Service, said: "We were concerned to find fireworks being kept in this way in a domestic family home.

"The consequences for Mr Donovan, his family and anyone living in neighbouring properties could have been very serious had any of the fireworks been accidentally ignited."

Group Commander Mike White, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It must be remembered that whilst fireworks are for entertainment they are still explosives.

"To have fireworks inappropriately stored, particularly in domestic premises, as in this case, could have catastrophic consequences. In a fire, the development would be accelerated, fire loading increased and the burn would be intensified.

"This would reduce escape time and put the occupants and firefighters at serious risk."

People wanting advice in relation to consumer goods and services can phone Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Devon County Council Trading Standards Service has a business helpline on (01392) 381381.

You can also report illegal trading activity to Devon Trading Standards Service, anonymously if you wish, via their confidential phone line Trading Standards Confidential on (01392) 381380.

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