Police faced 'mini-riot' when kebab shop staff served food after hours
Police had to defuse a 'mini-riot' when hungry clubbers were removed from an Ipswich takeaway serving food outside permitted hours.
Kebab shop owner Dara Ahmad and premises supervisor Ali Celebi faced prosecution for carrying on unauthorised licensable activity by allowing food to be served after 4am.
The pair were summonsed to Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for breaching licensing laws at Perfect Kebab House, in Falcon Street.
Ahmad, 39, of Hawthorn Drive, admitted allowing food to be served outside permitted hours of 4am on September 16 last year.
Two police officers had visited the shop to carry out basic checks the previous evening, noting non-compliance of public safety licensing objectives, including a lack of emergency lighting or fire exit signs.
Borough council prosecutor Richard Essex told the court another group of officers turned up shortly after 4am to find the interior lights switched off as staff served customers and accepted payment.
“About 15 people were milling around outside and one officer counted 27 customers inside the premises,” said Mr Essex, who explained the shop was only supposed to hold up to 12 people at a time.
“Staff were uncooperative when asked to stop serving and sort out refunds. They eventually made the refunds and customers left.
“Officers who visited the previous evening went back at 4.35am and described there almost being a mini-riot trying to sort things out. They found multiple pieces of food rubbish on the ground outside.”
In mitigation, magistrates heard that staff had taken a food order within permitted hours, between 2.30am and 3am, in advance of customers leaving a nearby nightclub.
When Ahmad began to close the shop for 4am, the large group of customers entered and “demanded food”.
Magistrates were shown a P45 for the uncooperative member of staff, who was sacked the following morning.
Ahmad was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £300 in costs.
Celebi, of Donegal Road, failed to show up at court and the case was proved in his absence. He must pay a £440 fine and £450 in costs.