Hillingdon Council successfully prosecutes illegal shisha cafe

Hillingdon Council has successfully prosecuted a restaurant owner in Hayes for failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free area and for obstructing environmental health officers.

Mr Sina Behbod, aged 31, one of the company directors of GG’s in Station Road, Hayes, was handed a fine and costs of almost £2,500 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday 21 October. This included a fine of £1,000, full prosecution costs of £1,310.20 and a £100 victim surcharge which must be paid within 28 days. Mr Behbod, who failed to attend court on the day, was convicted in his absence.

The council launched an investigation after seeing a sign advertising the sale of shisha. They found customers smoking shisha pipes at the rear of the restaurant in May this year in an enclosed space – a breach of the Health Act 2006. During the investigation, Mr Behbod did not respond to letters from the council. Staff had also been instructed to refuse entry to officers from the council to prevent them from carrying out further checks.

Cllr Douglas Mills, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration, said: “Our environmental health officers have been very diligent in holding this restaurant to account and we are pleased that the courts have reflected this. We will not tolerate businesses that flagrantly break the law in the borough. Our officers should be able to carry out their duties without being obstructed and this case should serve as a warning to all businesses to run their operations legally and responsibly.”