Assault probe at Chinese eaterie

Police inquiry: The China House restaurant, where police are probing an attack on a customer
Police inquiry: The China House restaurant, where police are probing an attack on a customer
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The owner of a ‘danger trap’ Chinese restaurant that controversially remains open for business has been arrested after an alleged assault on two customers.

Sources told the Evening Post a fight had broken out in a karaoke booth in a private room at the China House in Aqueduct Street, which has continued trading despite authorities previously finding it was a “ticking timebomb” with leaking gas and botched electrical wiring.

It is alleged the owner, Wen Qiang Cai, 34, slapped a Chinese student who was sitting in a karaoke booth with friends, then grabbed his shoulders.

A struggle then broke out in which it is alleged a glass bottle was waved around.

Detectives at Preston CID confirmed two men aged 21 and 22 had suffered minor injuries in an incident at the property.

Det Sgt John Crichton said: “ We are investigating an alleged assault at the restaurant relating to two men.”

Police were called to the restaurant, formerly the Lime Kiln pub, at 1.10am Friday and arrested Mr Cai.

It comes days after his property was branded a death trap and had its licence revoked at the end of a marathon nine-hour council hearing at the Town Hall, but despite fears a blast at the building could have killed people, destroyed nearby homes and disrupted services on the nearby West Coast mainline, it can stay open until the expiry of a 21 day appeal notice in a few days time.

At the hearing, councillors heard police, fire and environmental health officers had battled for five years to get the China House to tackle a catalogue of safety issues. It was described as “the most problematic” of all Preston’s 450 licensed premises by police who brought the action.

The case was only the second time in 10 years fire chiefs supported the revocation of a licence.