THE owner of an Indian restaurant which played host to an illegal wedding in February says he has already been punished by way of boycotts and social media abuse.

Shek Shah is the owner of Hot Chilli restaurant at Dunscar Business Park, where police officers found a wedding in full swing with more than 60 people on February 21.

In a Bolton Council licensing review hearing, which took place yesterday, a panel heard the venue has been struggling to cope after a number of customer boycotts and abuse over social media.

During the hearing, which was chaired by Cllr Mudasir Dean, a panel heard that Mr Shah had recently stepped back from the business due to his depression, and had hired new management - who are now no longer employed by him.

Mr Shah added that he has not received any fines following the incident - not even a fixed penalty notice.

READ MORE: Bolton restaurant could have licence revoked after illegal wedding

He said: “I was told on the day when I received details that I would receive a fine, but I’ve not received anything.

“I’ve been in business for years and I know there’s consequences. We’ve paid for it as we’ve had a lot of customers boycott us and we’ve had a lot of abuse on social media.”

The bride and groom have still not been traced, according to police.

A report published in advance of the hearing stated that Mr Shah was unable to say who had organised the wedding as it was arranged ‘through the friend of a friend’.

A statement from PC Andrew Hopwood read: “In total there were 65 adults and children present as well as 10 staff, cooking or serving drinks.

During his defence, Mr Shah refuted the allegations that there were 10 staff in the building at the time of the incident, adding: "I don't know where the police got that number from.

"I have never employed more than seven staff at any one time so those numbers are false."

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In a closing statement, Mr Shah said: “I’m not going to deny anything. I should have stopped the event.

“Whatever the committee decides, I will take the punishment but please consider that we are trying to make the business work and it’s basically all we have at the moment.”

The panel will consider all the evidence and will write to Mr Shah to notify him of its decision.

Potential outcomes could include a suspension of the licence or having it revoked completely - meaning the premises would be required to cease trading.

READ MORE: Police break up illegal wedding at Hot Chilli in Bolton