Ex-jockey's £33,000 bill for safety breaches at shared Newmarket houses

District Judge Timothy King said: There was a significant risk of harm to individuals.
District Judge Timothy King said: There was a significant risk of harm to individuals.

A rogue landlord who exposed his tenants to significant risk has been ordered by a judge to pay nearly £33,000 following a prosecution by Forest Heath District Council.

Former jockey Russell Wayne Price, of 18A Lisburn Road, Newmarket, was found guilty of 15 charges – 13 of which were under the Housing Act 2004 – following a three-day trial at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.

The remaining two charges related to Price’s failure to provide information when requested. The 50-year-old had denied all the charges at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that the charges concerned two properties in Lisburn Road, Newmarket, which Price let as Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). Both were subject to Prohibition Orders served in 2008 and 2010, banning them from being used as HMOs.

Housing officers carried out an inspection on December 14 last year and found safety concerns including a lack of fire detection and escape routes, a lack of gas or electrical safety certificates and a loose electrical socket.

Exposed pipework, stairs with no handrail and damp and mould were also discovered and neither property offered an acceptable standard of living conditions.

Last Wednesday, Price was found guilty of all 15 charges. District Judge Timothy King said: “There was a significant risk of harm to individuals.”

He said Price had ‘cut corners’ and ordered him to pay charges and fines totaling £25,900. Price must also pay the council’s costs which brought the total to £32,980.

Read the full story in this week Newmarket Journal. Also inside, a Kentford family is to be reunited, Newmarket residents call for repairs to their 'dangerous' footpath, a nursery owner who is battling to save her nursery, and more. Out now.