Kangs Solicitors were instructed to represent an individual client and his company who were being prosecuted by Enfield Council, for offences contrary to Regulation 19 of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.
Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solictors, who has twenty years’ experience defending prosecutions of this nature, explains the events which lead to a hearing before Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.
The Investigation | Kangs Regulatory Defence Team
Environmental Officers from Enfield Council attended our client’s Sushi Restaurant in August 2016, as part of a routine inspection.
Officers sought to examine documentation including Food Safety Management System documentation, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point documentation as well as Training Records and Pest Control Records.
The Environmental Officers found:
- procedures were not being correctly followed,
- employees were unable to answer food hygiene questions satisfactorily,
- the food preparation and storage areas were inadequate,
- mice droppings were found behind the chest freezer and rear food storage area,
- there was a clear risk of cross contamination in relation to cooked and uncooked food
- employees were not wearing proper protective clothing and
- flying insects and an infestation of rodents were present.
Our client was advised that a Food Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice could be obtained or he could agree to close his premises voluntarily until all work necessary to rectify the defects was carried out, which was the alternative chosen.
Defence Preparation | Kangs Environmental Health Solicitors
- Following receipt of a summons, charging nine offences in his own name and that of his company, to appear before Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, our client instructed this firm.
- Kangs Solicitors obtained and examined in detail all the case papers and
- discussed with our client his position at length and
- took full and detailed instructions.
Important Defence Considerations | Kangs Trial Preparation Solicitors
- Our client admitted that he was guilty of the offences alleged and which had arisen simply because he was also overseeing a second restaurant, had delegated too much responsibility to employees at the Sushi Restaurant and had ‘taken his eye off the ball’.
- Our client was disturbed that he was being prosecuted for the same offences both personally as a director of the offending company.
- The Prosecution alleged that the culpability of both our client and his business was high with the potential risk of harm falling between a Category 2 and Category 1 offence.
- Had the Judge concurred with the Prosecution’s allegation our client would probably have received a very substantial financial penalty.
The Court Hearing | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
- Prior to the hearing we were able to persuade the Council to withdraw proceedings against the company and simply continue against our client individually.
- Details had also been provided as to how the offences had arisen and the extent of the improvements made which resulted in the premises being allowed to re-open within days of closing.
- All of the circumstances were presented by way of meaningful mitigation to the Judge.
The Outcome | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
- The Judge took the view that the culpability in this case was low to medium and that the harm was a Category 2 to Category 3 offence.
- Furthermore, our client was sentenced in relation to four offences only and not punished further in relation to five other offences, which were marked by no separate penalty.
- Our client was fined a total sum of £2000 which was very substantially less than the level being sought by the Prosecution.
Our client was overjoyed and grateful for the result that Kangs Solicitors had 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.