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Shisha lounge fined £14,000 after owner caught allowing smoking in Cricklewood store

13 Jan 2015

John Shammas

A shisha lounge has been slapped with a £14,000 fine after Brent Council caught the owner allowing smoking in an enclosed space.

Hassan El-Zein, 26, owner of Beirut Gardens in Cricklewood Broadway, was also found not displaying health and under-age warnings on tobacco packing and shisha pipes.

He failed to appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on January 6, but El-Zein was convicted and  was given a total of £8,140 in fines, £120 victim surcharge and £2,185 in costs to the council.

The company Beirut Gardens Limited was also fined £2,660, £100 victim surcharge and £500 in cost to the council.

As El-Zein was not in court the magistrates made a collection order, meaning that if the he does not pay within 28 days, bailiffs may be sent to his home and business.

The magistrate said: “The defendant did not offer any explanation in his defence and the council officers gave clear evidence and proved beyond reasonable doubt that all the offences took place.”

The case was brought about by Brent Council who were carrying out a routine inspection at Beirut Gardens in April.

Councillor George Crane, Lead Member for Environment at Brent Council, said: “The high fine reflects the seriousness of the offence that has been committed.

“Smoking in enclosed places damages the health of staff and non-smoking customers and supplying tobacco products without health and age warnings is irresponsible and illegal.

“I hope this high fine will deter other businesses from committing similar offences.

“We want to create a safe borough for people that live or work in  Brent and enforcing the law around the smoking ban is a part of that.”

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