Owner fined for '˜utterly disgusting' state of Indian takeaway in Portsmouth

THE BOSS of a city restaurant branded '˜utterly disgusting' after an unannounced inspection revealed it had widespread mouse problems has been hit with a fine.Â

Saturday, 25th August 2018, 2:51 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:15 pm
CARELESS: Haphazardly stored food at Star of Asia. Picture: Portsmouth City Council
CARELESS: Haphazardly stored food at Star of Asia. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Former Star of Asia owner Amir Begh, 38, was ordered to pay £1,600 at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday after admitting eight hygiene criminal charges last month. 

Portsmouth City Council first inspected the Marketway venue in September last year and unearthed a mouse infestation '“ which had led to '˜fresh' droppings in the kitchen, bar and a warming cabinet for food. 

Also found were flakes of ceiling paint on kitchen worktops, food peelings dumped in the takeaway's yard, a vent packed with grease and a poor record of staff hygiene training. 

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Star of Asia. Picture: Google

The court yesterday heard Begh, of Southsea '“ who took over the restaurant just a week before the inspection '“ voluntarily shut up shop after its unsavoury findings. 

However, after vowing to stage a deep clean he was met with a staff walkout '“ and even when he invited inspectors back in January '“ it was still a mess. 

Mitigating, Charles Gabb told the court Begh, a chef, had been '˜taken for a fool' after buying the restaurant from a family friend for £15,000 '“ with £8,000 of borrowed cash and £7,000 put on his credit card. 

On the results of inspections at the site, Mr Gabb said: '˜He should've shut up shop, but his mistake was trying to muddle his way through.' 

He added: '˜He regrets this, apologises and realises he was way out of his depth.' 

Sentencing, judge William Ashworth criticised Begh for taking on the restaurant with '˜no previous management experience' and posing a risk of '˜high adversity' to its customers. 

'˜The condition of the premises was utterly disgusting and, as a chef, you would have positively been aware this was in no way a place where food could have been safely prepared,' he said. 

He added: '˜You were taken advantage of and were wholly under-equipped to run a kitchen.'  

The Star of Asia is now in different hands and Begh works as a chef at Paanchi in Fratton Road.