Fleeing man led to alcohol licence ban

Al Amir Indian Restaurant on Talbot Road, Blackpool which has been stripped of its alcohol licence by the council
Al Amir Indian Restaurant on Talbot Road, Blackpool which has been stripped of its alcohol licence by the council

A Blackpool Indian restaurant has been stripped of its alcohol licence after flouting licensing laws and employing an illegal immigrant.

The offences at the Al Amir restaurant on Talbot Road came to light during a joint visit between licensing enforcement, the police and immigration enforcement teams.

Following a review of the licence, councillors decided to revoke the licence at the premises.

Mark Marshall, licensing and health and safety manager at Blackpool Council, in his evidence to the hearing said after he identified himself to a worker at the restaurant, the man fled.

Mr Marshall’s statement said: “Within five seconds of this introduction the man ran towards the front door.

“It was reported by one of the immigration staff that he ran so quickly that he was nearly knocked over by a bus.”

It also emerged the man was not being paid the minimum wage.

After an inspection of the premises by the enforcement team , concerns were raised about fire safety.

A defective smoke alarm with exposed wires was found in the gents toilets, along with fire extinguishers which had not been serviced.

When officers asked to look at CCTV to trace the man who had run off, they were told the system was not recording.

Solicitor Michael Woosnam, representing the licence holder Muhammad Rashid, told the hearing the certification for the fire extinguishers was now up to date and conditions relating to the operation of the CCTV were being complied with.

He added Mr Rashid believed his employee had the right to work in the UK because he had been shown a card with his national insurance number on it.

But the licensing panel, chaired by Coun Adrian Hutton, ruled the “causes for concern were very serious and wide-ranging”.

Their ruling stated: “While the defects concerning the CCTV and fire extinguishers had been dealt with, this had only happened because the review had been submitted.

“The Rashids had knowingly employed someone on a ‘cash in hand’ basis paying below the minimum wage which should not happen, and without doing the required right to work checks it is impossible for them to be confident that he had the right to work.”

The panel said the premises “had been trading irresponsibly in the past” and they were not satisfied it “would trade in a responsible manner in the future.”

The licence holder has 21 days in which to appeal the decision.