A DOCTOR, who was fined after 12 French students lived in a home he owned which left them ‘at serious risk of death’, has been suspended.

Dr Muhammad Bhatti was convicted at Burnley Magistrates' Court in January last year for offences relating to breaches of fire safety regulations.

The conviction followed a raid in October 2014 by safety experts from the fire service when Dr Bhatti was a landlord of a house on 143 Manchester Road, Burnley.

Now Dr Bhatti has been suspended for a month by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) following a hearing.

Fire chiefs found that 12 French students and two French teachers had been given rooms there by Embrace Co-operation Ltd, which had leased the house from Dr Bhatti.

Dr Bhatti, who practices in Burnley according to MPTS documents, was found guilty after a trial of four offences under fire safety regulations, covering failures to provide general fire precautions, maintaining alarms, ensuring emergency routes could be used and providing easily accessible locks.

The court heard how Embrace was directly responsible for the placement of the students and failed to carry out an adequate fire risk assessment of the property.

The firm, based in London, pleaded guilty to six offences.

Dr Bhatti was fined a total of £800 for offences relating to breaches of fire safety regulations.

He lodged an appeal, which was heard at Burnley Crown Court, but this was dismissed with Dr Bhatti ordered to pay a further £2,980 towards the cost of the prosecution, over and above the £4,000 he was ordered to pay in the magistrates’.

Embrace was fined £10,500.

Both Dr Bhatti, of Albany Road, Liverpool, and Embrace were found to have put the occupiers at risk of serious injury or death should a fire occur.

At the time of the events, Dr Bhatti was training as a specialist registrar with a view to becoming a consultant in public health medicine.

Suspending Dr Bhatti for 28 days, the MPTS described the conviction as a ‘serious matter which involved significant risks to the public.’

An MPTS report reads: “The tribunal concluded that public confidence in the medical profession could not be maintained without the imposition of a sanction which reflects the criminal conduct of Dr Bhatti.”