Kangs Solicitors were instructed to represent a client who was being prosecuted by Birmingham City Council for offences contrary to Regulation 19 of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013, whilst running his restaurant.
Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors, who has twenty years’ experience defending prosecutions of this nature, explains the events which lead to a Hearing before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
The Charges | Kangs Magistrates’ Defence Team
Our client was charged with failure to:
- ensure adequate procedures to control pests;
- ensure premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition;
- ensure construction of the food within the premises, permitted good food hygiene practices;
- operate proper drainage facilities in order to avoid the risk of contamination;
- ensure equipment, articles and fittings were clean;
- ensure that articles with which food came into contact were kept in good order, repair and condition, so as to minimise any risk of contamination;
- ensure that food was protected against contamination;
- provide adequate provisions for storage and disposal of food waste.
The Investigation | Kangs Regulatory Defence Team
Environmental Officers from Birmingham City Council found evidence of mice droppings throughout our client’s restaurant premises and, during the course of the investigation, took one hundred and twenty five photographs exhibiting the extent of their concerns.
Our client was issued with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, thereby closing his restaurant, and was served with a schedule of necessary work to be carried out in order to remove the imminent risk of injury to health.
The Council also obtained a Prohibition Order from Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in order to ensure that the premises remained closed until the matters complained of had been rectified.
The Court Hearing | Kangs Magistrates’ Court Solicitors
Unfortunately, our client failed to seek legal guidance prior to his interview at which he made full and frank admissions to the breaches alleged.
Upon receipt of a summons to appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court our client decided to instruct this firm, in view of our reputation.
At the Hearing, in view of the admissions which he had previously made, our client had no alternative other than to enter guilty pleas in relation to all charges that he faced.
The Prosecution alleged that the offences were such that the Judge should consider the culpability against our client as being high and the potential risk of harm being a Category 1 offence, the most serious level available.
Had the Judge adopted the Prosecution’s request, our client would have received a very substantial financial penalty.
How Did We Assist Our Client? | Enviromental Health Solicitors
Having discussed the allegations in detail with our client and taken comprehensive instructions as to how the premises had fallen foul of the Health and Safety Regulations we were able to:
- detail how our client had previously upheld a 5 star food hygiene rating.
- highlight how renovation work at the premises had led to the offences being committed.
- detail the improvements that had been made which resulted in the premises being allowed to re-open within days of closing down.
All of which was presented by way of meaningful mitigation to the Judge during the Sentencing Hearing.
The Outcome | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
The Judge commented that due to the substantial mitigation put forward on behalf of our client, he was able to disregard the Prosecution’s stance and sentence on a lower category of culpability.
He imposed a fine of £6,000 in relation to the first offence with no further penalty in relation to the other seven offences, representing a major departure from the fines being sought by the Prosecution.
Naturally, our client was extremely overjoyed and grateful for the result that we managed to achieve for him.
How Can Kangs Solicitors Help? | Kangs Specialist Crime Solicitors
It is important for any business or individual facing any situation which may have criminal implications to seek expert legal advice at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the welfare of those concerned can be protected as far as possible in the prevailing circumstances.
If you have a similar issue and would appreciate some early expert and robust advice please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following and they will be happy to guide you.