Over £14,000 fines for owner of shisha lounge in Cricklewood

12 January 2015

Mr Hassan El-Zein, age 26, owner of Beirut Gardens in Cricklewood Broadway has received fines for allowing smoking in an enclosed space and for not displaying health and under-age warnings on tobacco packing and shisha pipes.

The case was heard at Willesden Magistrates' Court on 6 January 2015. Mr El-Zein did not attend court. The Magistrate convicted him and imposed a total of £8,140 in fines, £120 victim surcharge and £2,185 in costs to the council. The company Beirut Gardens Limited was also fined £2,660, £100 victim surcharge and £500 in cost to the council. Total costs, surcharge and fines levied is £14,705.

Since the Mr El-Zein was not in court the Magistrates made a collection order, which means, if the he does not pay within 28 days, bailiffs may be sent to his home and business.

In summing up the Magistrate said "The defendant did not offer any explanation in his defence and the council officers gave clear evidence and proved beyond reasonable doubt that all the offences took place"

The case was brought about by Brent Council who were carrying out a routine inspection at Beirut Gardens on 30 April 2014 and found persons being supplied with shisha pipes, tobacco products and smoking in the substantially enclosed marquee at the rear of the premises. Whilst there, they noticed the other offences and took a number of photographs of the evidence.

Councillor George Crane, Lead Member for Environment at Brent Council said

"The high fine reflects the seriousness of the offence that has been committed. Smoking in enclosed places damages the health of staff and non-smoking customers and supplying tobacco products without health and age warnings is irresponsible and illegal.

"I hope this high fine will deter other businesses from committing similar offences.

"We want to create a safe borough for people that live or work in Brent and enforcing the law around the smoking ban is a part of that"