Two businesses in the Bradford district were in court on Tuesday 21 September for their failure to comply with COVID legislation during the height of the pandemic, V Lounge shisha lounge in Great Horton and the Ring O’ Bells pub in Queensbury.
Mr Waqas Hussain of V Lounge was ordered to pay almost £2,500 for failure to cease operating a business between the hours of 10pm and 5am during the emergency period. This was in contravention of The Health Protection Regulations 2020.
Bradford Council had received complaints of the shisha lounge operating whilst the high level restrictions were in place and COVID numbers in the Bradford district were high and increasing.
Officers from Bradford Council’s Environmental Health Department visited the premises at 11pm on the 22 October 2020 and found the business to be open and serving 11 customers who were inside the premises smoking and sharing shisha pipes in close proximately to each other, posing a serious risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.
Mr Hussain was initially served with a fixed penalty notice of £1000, which he failed to pay. He failed to attend the hearing at Bradford Magistrates Court and was found guilty in his absence. He was order to pay a further £1,500 in fines, £783 in costs and a victim surcharge of £150.
Bradford Council also secured a successful prosecution against Mr Leslie Bradshaw of the Ring O’ Bells public house in Queensbury who also failed to cease operating whilst the same high level restrictions were in place. Mr Bradshaw was ordered to pay £1850.
Officers from West Yorkshire Police visited the pub on the 16 October 2020 and found that the bar was open and serving customers after 10pm when it should have been closed.
Mr Bradshaw was also initially served with a fixed penalty notice of £1000 which he failed to pay. He pleaded guilty at the hearing at Bradford Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay a further fine of £1000, costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £100.
This successful prosecution is the second fine for Mr Bradshaw for breaking the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Cllr Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “The majority of businesses across the district did the right thing and complied with the legislation, which was in place to protect the public by preventing the spread of COVID-19. These businesses were given plenty of information about how to comply with the law and chose to ignore it. They both were given fines which they chose not to pay, this left us with no alternative but to bring these cases to court and prosecute.”