Northern Ireland

Boss of Bangla Supermarket, Belfast, sold unsafe food

A Belfast supermarket operator has been convicted of selling unsafe food and breaching hygiene laws.

Lalu Ali, of Ava Crescent, was found guilty of 14 offences at the Bangla Supermarket on Ormeau Road in 2009.

The charges included having food with no details of supplier and failure to properly dispose of animal by-products.

A Belfast City Council lawyer told Belfast Magistrates Court the offences were among the worst she had prosecuted.

Ali failed to attend the court and a warrant was issued to have him brought for sentencing.

Some of the offences carry maximum penalties of six months imprisonment or fines of up to £20,000.

Other charges against Ali included inadequate labelling and multiple counts relating to the hygiene of equipment, waste and storage.

All of the offences were alleged to have been committed on dates in March 2009.

The court was told the premises has since changed its name to the Bangla Bazaar.

A lawyer for Belfast City Council said: "This was a commercial premises open for members of the public to purchase food.

"This case is one of the worst cases I have prosecuted in terms of the amount of offences that were detected."

After hearing her submissions, Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer declared himself satisfied that the relevant regulations had been breached.

"Mr Ali will be convicted of all of these offences," he said.

Issuing the warrant, Mr Mateer added: "I have to have him here for sentencing in view of the fact there is a prison sentence available."