A west Leeds takeaway is counting the cost of not obeying licensing regulations after being fined £15,000 plus costs at Leeds Magistrates’ court today (Friday 18 January).

Jawaid Mahmood, owner of Italian Pizza Bar & Village India, 209 Stanningley Road, Leeds LS12 was found guilty and convicted in his absence of selling hot food without a licence. He was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2967.53 and a £15 victims’ surcharge.

Leeds City Council’s Entertainment Licensing section first received a complaint alleging that the takeaway was selling hot food beyond midnight – the time they were authorised to – in December 2011.

The takeaway even advertised the opening hours of the business as 4pm until 12.30am Sunday to Thursday and 4pm until 1.30am Friday and Saturday.

Despite receiving warning letters advising him that he must cease selling hot food after midnight until a licence was in place, Mr Jawaid Mahmood continued to allow hot food to be sold at the premises.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“It is not acceptable that any food outlet conducts business without the correct licence.

“Businesses need to make sure they take notice of council advice so as to avoid large fines and to ensure they are operating within the law. In this case it is clear that the owner has deliberately ignored a number of reminders.

“By making sure these premises apply for a licence, it gives local people the chance to put forward any objections or to raise any concerns.

“The licensing process is designed to give not only the responsible authorities but also local residents the opportunity to raise concerns or support for applications. People who serve late night refreshment without a licence are not allowing people to have their say and are breaking the law.”