TEN PEOPLE have been charged with a variety of offences as part of a police probe into contracts to install emergency lighting and fire alarms in council properties.
The Metropolitan Police has been investigating Lakehouse, the contractor which was responsible for maintaining fire alarms at Grenfell Tower, and a sub-contractor, Polyteck, in an inquiry into fraud that has been running for four years.
The investigation relates to a project that began in 2011 whereby Lakehouse renovated hundreds of properties in Hackney and installed fire safety equipment including emergency lighting.
The work was part of a £184 million government grant under its Decent Homes initiative.
A Hackney Council investigation found some fire safety work carried out by Lakehouse’s subcontractor Polyteck was ‘defective, including incorrectly installed alarms and emergency lighting systems’. Lakehouse denies any wrongdoing.
The Met’s fraud police subsequently launched an investigation, which led to this week’s charges.
All 10 were employed as part of the supply chain to carry out the fire safety work.
Five people – Mark Middleton, 51, Stephen Ellis, 49, Richard Lee, 43, Andrew Langston, 40, and Lee David Wylie, 46 – have been charged with bribery and theft.
Costantinos Polycarpou, 40, and Yiannakis Polycarpou, 63, have been charged with bribery.
Three people, Sarah Kipping, 46, Josephine Ashley-Russell, 37, and Leslie Ratty, 67, have been charged with money laundering.
All 10 are due to appear before City of Westminster magistrates on 6 November.
- A special Emergency Lighting conference will explore best practice in fire safety in social housing and commercial premises. It’s one of key themes of LuxLive 2018, taking place on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November 2018 in ExCeL London. Entry is free – pre-register HERE.
Main pic: Ray Molony