Fugitive ‘tinderbox’ takeaway boss sentenced

By on 19/03/2010 in News
dirty kitchen at the Bab-E-Khybar

dirty kitchen at the Bab-E-Khybar

A takeaway owner who went on the run and had to be recaptured by Met Police when his filthy shop was raided by council officers, has been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

In May 2008, an Environmental Health Officer from Birmingham City Council was driving past the Bab-E-Khybar takeaway on Highgate Road in Balsall Heath, when he saw a thick plume of black smoke coming from the rear yard of the shop. The officer decided to investigate and found that the mains gas supply to the shop had been cut off as the gas bill had not been paid, so the owner, Mr Akbar Jan, decided to cobble together a series of LPG gas cylinders to supply the kitchen cookers and tandoori oven.

LPG cylinders used to power shop

LPG cylinders used to power shop

LPG is not an approved fuel, and the cylinders were incorrectly connected, so a prohibition notice under Health and Safety at Work Act was immediately served. The lack of a mains gas supply also meant that there was no hot water to the premises for the kitchen sink, or for hand wash basins for staff in the kitchen, or in toilet facilities used by staff and customers. 

Further inspection revealed the entire premises to be filthy, with impacted fat and grease on the walls, door handles that were blackened with dirt, soiled floors and mouse droppings were also found around rice bags in the store room. The refrigeration units were also extremely dirty, and onions were being prepared in the rear yard, adjacent to an overflowing drain and 17 bags of food waste. Conditions inside the takeaway were so bad that it was immediately closed down using a hygiene emergency prohibition notice.

Owner Akbar Jan was then summonsed to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court for these offences, but failed to appear in court and absconded to London. A bail warrant was issued and Mr Jan was eventually tracked down, whereupon West Midlands Police, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police, enforced the conditions of the bail warrant. 

Akbar Jan was sentenced on Thursday 18th March for food hygiene offences to 3 months suspended for 12 months (for each offence, to run concurrently) and full costs of £2,645 were awarded, to be paid within 6 months. He has also been prohibited from participating in the management of a food business. He may re-apply in 6 months, but any application is to be reserved to the sentencing judge, who will require evidence that Mr Jan has undertaken the necessary training and has also obtained qualifications in  Food Hygiene.

debris in the yard where food was being prepared

debris in the yard where food was being prepared

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, comments:

“Akbar Jan's behaviour has been disgraceful from start to finish. He has shown complete disregard for the health of his customers and his staff. Not only could he have made people very ill with the unsanitary conditions in which food was being prepared and served, he had a rickety system of gas cylinders that turned the back yard into a potential tinderbox. On top of that, he then runs away to London, wasting valuable police resources from two separate forces, to bring him to justice. I think that the Judge in this case was entirely right when he said that the public were entitled to be protected from people like Jan”.

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

Note to Editors

Higher res images available on request.

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