Takeaway owner sentenced for gas safety failures

A Leeds takeaway owner has been handed a suspended prison sentence for serious gas safety failures.

Khalid Hussain, owner of Wajs Pizza Bar on Leeds Road, Allerton Bywater, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court.

Following a guilty plea, Magistrates sentenced him in relation to him eight separate counts yesterday (Thursday, Jan 30).

Hussain was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete 300 hours of community service, and ordered to pay £200 towards costs along with an £80 victim surcharge.

Initial investigations by Leeds City Council environmental health officers in October 2011 uncovered significant issues with the gas cooker, gas system and gas catering equipment.

Flame failure devices had been overridden on the gas cooker and there was no flue extraction system in the premises for gas operated equipment. Pipework and equipment fell significantly below current safety standards and were posing an imminent risk.

A number of enforcement notices were served on Hussain requiring him to immediately fix the defective appliances and pipework. He consistently failed to call in the relevant experts to make the repairs leaving staff and customers at risk from the dangerous appliances.

Council environmental health officers accompanied by a specialist inspector from the Health and Safety Executive revisited the property in June 2012.

Officers were so concerned about the hazardous conditions they found, that the gas appliances were seized and dismantled and the gas supply disconnected.

When disconnecting the supply it was discovered that someone had tapped into the gas supply illegally by removing the gas meter from the premises.

The business has now ceased trading.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“Blatantly disregarding the health and safety of your staff and customers in the pursuit of profit seriously calls into question your standing as a reputable business person.

“There is no excuse for putting people at such risk. This isn’t about red tape or bureaucracy, but keeping people safe and adverting potential disasters.

“Our staff will continue to offer their advice and expertise to help keep businesses on the right side of the law, but we won’t hesitate to take action should they be found flouting the rules and putting people at serious risk.”


For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk