Takeaway owner fined for breach

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A TAKEAWAY owner has been ordered to pay £1,000 after being caught trading after hours.

Ozgul Balciner, who runs Northern Bites in North Street, Sudbury, was found guilty of operating outside his licensed hours when he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Balciner was spotted serving food to customers by police at 3.25am – nearly 30 minutes after the licensed hours for his premises finished – on July 30 last year.

Officers visited Balciner at his shop and confirmed he was still serving food. CCTV operators also observed more food being provided.

Balciner was interviewed by environmental protection officers from Babergh District Council and he admitted operating after 3am but claimed payment for food had taken place before this time.

He was offered a caution as an alternative to prosecution, but did not accept this, and was subsequently prosecuted in his absence.

Joanna Hart, Babergh’s senior environmental protection officer, said she was pleased Balciner had been reprimanded for his actions.

“When the licence for Northern Bites was granted, consideration was given to the proximity of residents and the need to ensure that late-night revellers leave the town centre promptly after nightclubs close,” she said.

“Therefore, conditions were imposed to restrict operating hours to 3am. By disregarding this condition, he sought to gain an unfair advantage over other businesses which do operate within their licence.”

Mrs Hart added that she hoped this case would act as a warning to other takeaways to ensure they trade within licensed hours.

Balciner, of Norwich Road, Little Stonham, also failed to transfer the premises licence into his own name.

He was fined £350 and ordered to pay costs of £650.