Monday, June 13, 2011

Hygiene horror cafe owner still owes £12k fines

Julian Makey
Evidence of rat droppings and dirty fittings were shown to magistrates in January
Evidence of rat droppings and dirty fittings were shown to magistrates in January
The owner of an equestrian centre where the rat-infested café area was described as one of the worst hygiene inspectors had ever seen, still owes thousands of pounds in fines and costs, a court has heard.
Edward Maguire told magistrates at Huntingdon that an attempt to refinance the New Manor Farm centre Wyton had fallen through and he had been forced to sell up.
Magistrates ordered him to pay the outstanding £12,477 by July 22 in full from the proceeds of the sale.
In January, Maguire, from the centre, was fined £10,500 with £3,262.38 prosecution costs by the magistrates after he admitted seven hygiene offences.
The court heard that rat droppings were strewn across the Gallery Café at the equestrian centre, a rat’s nest was found and there were dead mice under one of the refrigerators.
Magistrates were given a bag of samples to sniff so they could understand the “really quite unpleasant” smell from the building.
Maguire told the latest hearing that income from the centre had dropped by thousands of pounds and that he had no personal income from it last month.
He said he had been unsuccessful in trying to refinance the centre and had now accepted a cash offer for the premises which faced repossession.
The earlier hearing was told that there had been an equestrian event at the centre the day before inspectors visited following a complaint, but that Maguire had been aware of a rodent problem for two months.
Vicki Stevens, who prosecuted for Huntingdonshire District Council, said: “It was one of the worst cases they have seen.
“It was one of the worst cases I have ever prosecuted. The pest control officer said it was the worst he had seen in 20 years of pest control work.”
She said the pest officer had been “amazed” at the amount of rat droppings and had seen two live rats between walls.
Fittings were also dirty.
The court was told at the time that the centre was losing money and that Maguire, who had carried out repairs, was facing possible eviction

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