Shisha boss fined for letting youngsters smoke indoors
11:10am Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
A SHISHA takeaway boss has been fined for letting a group of youngsters — aged as young as 13 — smoke indoors.
Ten under 18s, three of whom were under 16, were caught with four lit shisha pipes inside the Dial Me a Shisha business in Daubhill on April 20 last year.
Business owner Firoz Buksh, of Dunbar Drive, Great Lever, yesterday pleaded guilty at Bolton Magistrates Court to failing to prevent smoking indoors.
The teenagers, who were friends of Mr Buksh’s son, were discovered with four other adults inside the property during an on-thespot inspection.
The council had been tipped off by nearby residents who had complained to the police about smoking inside the premises.
On April 17, the council sent the Dial Me a Shisha a warning letter, but smoking inside continued, the court heard.
Mr Buksh, aged 38, said he felt the business had been “picked on”
out of all the other shisha cafes in St Helens Road.
He also denied claims that the youths were smoking shisha indoors that day.
Andrew Morris, prosecuting, said: “Dial Me a Shisha delivered shisha products to addresses so people could effectively ring up to have a shisha takeaway.
“There is nothing unlawful about delivering shisha, but in April some people as young as 13 were reported to be smoking at that premises.
“During a routine inspection, a police constable witnessed several people smoking on the premises.”
Four double sofas and several ash trays were also found during the inspection on April 20. Mr Morris added: “The ash trays on the table indicates smoking was taking place and the smell of smoke was quite noticeable. It was effectively a shisha cafe.”
Mr Buksh, was due to go on trial, but wrote to the court to plead guilty. He said: “We were originally doing a delivery service but I’m not going to deny we made a mistake.
“We have since closed the shop and we have not continued with the delivery service.”
He added: “I don’t know what the situation is with the other shops in the vicinity but I feel as though we have been picked on.
“The minors were not smoking shisha at all. They were my son’s friends who were watching TV and eating crisps.”
Mr Buksh was fined £550 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.
Dial Me a Shisha closed last summer.