Otley takeaway owner £6000 out of pocket for ignoring licence conditions
The owner of a takeaway in Otley has faced costs of over £6000 for repeatedly breaching the establishment’s licence terms and conditions.
In March 2016, Best Kebab, on Westgate in Otley, was granted a licence for the sale of late night refreshment from Sunday to Thursday, 11pm to midnight, and Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 12.30am.
After a number of complaints were made alleging the establishment was selling hot food well past the times permitted by its licence, and following an investigation by Leeds City Council licensing enforcement officers, an application for the review of the premises’ licence was launched by the council.
Mr Sajid Khan, the licence holder of the premises, appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 21st November 2018 to appeal against the decision of the council to revoke Best Kebab’s licence, however the decision was upheld by the District Judge and Mr Khan was ordered to pay full costs to Leeds City Council, totalling £6349.30.
ln setting out the grounds for the review, Leeds City Council referenced the numerous warning letters it had sent to Mr Khan, as well as unannounced compliance visits as a result of breaches to the licence conditions.
During these visits, an undercover officer from the council attended Best Kebab and was able to buy hot food out of the licensed hours where hot food can be sold.
Following this, Mr Khan was reminded, both verbally and in writing, of the current permitted licensed hours and he was notified that Best Kebab would continue to be monitored for compliance.
Following an incident outside the premises at 2am on Sunday, 5th November, which the police attended, an enforcement officer from the council visited Best Kebab to make enquiries. Mr Khan was unable, on request from the officer, to produce CCTV footage from the night in question. He explained a CCTV system had not been installed at the premises, despite the fact that a requirement of the licence was to have a suitable CCTV system in operation.
The officer instructed Mr Khan to install a suitable CCTV system. He was once again reminded about his current permitted licensed days and hours.
On multiple occasions following this, the establishment was found to be open and serving hot food past the permitted licensed hour.
On Friday, 16th February 2018 a licensing enforcement officer re-visited Best Kebab and asked to view the CCTV system and Mr Khan pointed to two cameras in the shop.
When the officer asked to view the CCTV footage, it was then that Mr Khan admitted he had not installed a hard-drive or monitor. He was reminded that he was continuing to commit breaches of his licence.
Although the CCTV cameras were properly installed after this visit, the footage viewed at a further visit showed customers in the shop after the final hour of the premises licence.
As the council’s decision was upheld by the District Judge, Mr Khan was ordered to pay full costs to Leeds City Council, totalling £6349.30, and the licence for the sale of late night refreshments at Best Kebab is now revoked.
John Mulcahy, Chief Officer of Elections and Regulatory at Leeds City Council, said:
“It is crucial that takeaways and other businesses within the Leeds area are aware of the various licences they need for their premises if they choose to undertake certain activities.“In this case, Mr Khan was warned on numerous occasions that he was not complying with the conditions on his licence, and was given opportunities to rectify the situation, which he failed to do.“This conviction shows how important it is for businesses to have the right licences for their premises.”
Note to editors:
Since the 24th November 2005 the provision of late night refreshment between the hours of 11pm and 5am is a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. Premises providing hot food refreshment during these hours require a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice (TEN) authorising the activity.
A person guilty of an offence of providing unauthorised late night refreshment is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to an unlimited fine, or to both.
At any stage, following the grant of a premises licence or club premises certificate, a responsible authority, or any other person, may ask the licensing authority to review the licence or certificate because of a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives, namely – The prevention of crime and disorder, The prevention of public nuisance, The protection of children from harm, Public safety.
There are a number of sanctions available to a licensing sub-committee in its determination of a review application, namely –
Leave the licence unchanged;
Modify the conditions of the licence;
To exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence for a given amount of time;
To remove the designated premises supervisor (this is the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the premises as well as authorising each sale of alcohol);
To suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months;
To revoke the licence
For media enquiries:
Becky Stubbs, Leeds City Council press office
Tel: 01133 786199