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Finsbury Park Gifa Café owner breaches smoking ban...again

PUBLISHED: 13:53 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:53 22 February 2016

Gifa Café in Seven Sisters Road

Gifa Café in Seven Sisters Road

Archant

The owner of a shisha café in Finsbury Park has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after the business was caught flouting the smoking ban for the third time.

Brawen Mengesha, 28, who runs and owns the Gifa Café in Seven Sisters Road, admitted breaking three anti-smoking laws – including letting people smoke indoors.

He was fined a total of £500 at a hearing at Highbury Magistrates Court earlier this month and ordered to pay a £25 victim surcharge and council costs of £540.

Trading standards officers found three customers were smoking shisha in a totally enclosed downstairs room that should have been “smoke free”, the town hall said today.

And they found no health warnings on the shisha pipes, which by law should carry similar warnings to cigarettes, while there were no signs saying children would not be served.

Mengesha, who lives in Wakefield Road, was not at the café during the inspection, but could not show any evidence he had taken reasonable precautions to stop the breaches happening.

It is not the first time he has been convicted for allowing smoking at the café.

In June 2012, he admitted allowing people to smoke in a “smokefree premises” and in February 2014 was found guilty of three separate offences of the same nature.

His second court appearance saw him fined £1,050 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling more than £2,300.

The council’s health boss Cllr Janet Burgess said: “The defendant has persistently ignored council advice and allowed smoking in enclosed spaces contrary to the smokefree laws.

“If businesses illegally endanger the health of staff and customers, they are liable to prosecution, and repeat offences may lead to repeat convictions.”

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