The owner of an Indian restaurant in Wokingham has been fined more than £7,500 after admitting nine breaches of fire safety regulations according to

Taj Mahal imageRabeya Bhuiyan, who owns the Far East Trading Company, which runs the Taj Mahal in Denmark Street, has been fined £7,511.51 for serious breaches of fire safety.

He appeared before Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, September 8 and where he was fined for the breaches, which he admitted at a previous hearing in July.

He admitted to charges including: A failure to take adequate general fire precautions, inadequate fire protection for fire escape routes, having no emergency lighting, having no fire warning system and having no fire risk assessment.

The charges were brought by the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) following an inspection of the restaurant in July 2015.

The inspection revealed flaws so serious Fire Safety Inspectors served a prohibition notice restricting the use of the premises.

The case was heard by district judge Davinder Lachhar who told Bhuiyan that even though the restaurant was a small one, it was still vital he kept to the regulations.

She stressed the severity of the breaches and told him an employer must keep up-to-date with current fire regulations.

She did taken into account some mitigating factors, including that Bhuyia had complied quickly with the requirements of the prohibition notice, dealt with the requirements of the enforcement notice and attended a Police and Crime Evidence interview for questioning.

The company’s defence argued the company’s financial position could not support a heavy fine.

The fine must be paid within three months, and comprises of £500 each for the first four offences and £250 each for the remaining five offences – a total of £3,250.

The court also made an order for full payment of the prosecution costs of £4,141.51 and a victim surcharge of £120.

David Walden, RBFA’s fire safety legal support manager, said: “As this case strongly illustrates, complying with fire safety legislation is not optional.

“Failure to do so can put people’s lives at risk, particularly in premises where both staff and members of the public resort.”