Two men who are business partners in a city shisha cafe have been ordered to pay £400 each in costs and surcharges after being found guilty of allegations they breached anti smoking laws.
The future of the Shesha Gardens on Manchester Road, Avenham, Preston, is in doubt after joint owner Alaa Hammad revealed it was losing money.
Hammad, 43, of All Saints Road, Thornton, Cleveleys, was found guilty of allowing a person to smoke in the premises on November 11 and December 10, 2012.
His colleague Tarek Salem, 56, of Nevelle Drive, Thornton, Cleveleys, was found guilty of the same offences relating to November 20 and December 10, 2012.
Hammad said: “I don’t know what to do with my business now. It is losing money.
“We were led to believe it was legal.”
Magistrates agreed with Preston City Council the building was an enclosed premises subject to smoke free laws but accepted they had aimed to have a “business that was fully legal” and gave both men a 12 month conditional discharge.
The two businessmen argued when the shutters were up, more than 60% of the building could be regarded as ‘open’.
The law states that 50% or more of a premises where smoking will take place has to have openings to comply with legislation.
However openings that contain doors, windows or similar fixings are not taken into consideration as part of the 50%.
Salem also argued he was a silent partner and did not have management or control over the premises.
But prosecuting, James Hawks told the court his name was on the lease, on a planning application, and that he shared the profits.