Breaches of safety and food hygiene regulations by a restaurant owner could have led to a gas explosion or outbreak of E. coli, a court heard.
Worksop Magistrates’ Court was told that ‘it was lucky’ that the breaches by the owner of Monsoon did not have more serious consequences.
Mohammed Abdul Kashem, 38, of Leeds, admitted 18 charges of contravening regulations relating to food hygiene and health and safety at the Ryton Street restaurant when he appeared in court on Wednesday.
Lisa Gilligan, prosecuting on behalf of Bassetlaw Council, said that there had been a history of non-compliance, stretching back to 2010.
She said since then council officials carried out several inspections on the Indian restaurant. On some occasions the improvement notices were complied with, but on others parts of the premises were ‘filthy’ and Kashem was told to carry out a thorough clean.
The court heard that on 21st November 2011, a gas engineer attended over concerns about ‘the release of combustible gas’ in the kitchen, said Ms Gilligan.
“Inspections were carried out during the whole of last year and unfortunately the situation didn’t improve,” she said.
“The council would say it is fortunate that we are not standing here detailing with an outbreak of E.coli or some other similar outbreak or even a gas explosion.”
In mitigation, the court heard that Kashem no longer runs the premises, which he took over in 2003 with a £70,000 investment, after the lease ran out.
Paul Bilton, defending, said the economic downturn resulted in a loss of income, which meant Kashem struggled to meet the costs of repairing and maintaining the old building.
He said this put pressure on the family and Kashem’s wife moved to Leeds.
Kashem struggled to run the business from West Yorkshire and began suffering from depression, he added.
The court heard Kashem focused on front-of-house standards and struggled to employ the right staff for the kitchen.
Mr Bilton said: “What he hasn’t ensured is that they had the appropriate supervision and training. He accepts that that is his responsibility and he failed in that.”
He told magistrates: “He (Kashem) didn’t come to the attention of the local authority for a considerable period of time because he was managing the property.”
“When they pointed things out, much was done by him but by no means all were done and that is down to issues of cumulative loss and his ability to follow things through because of his mental ability.”