A shisha tobacco cafe, housed in a former nightclub, has been prosecuted for allowing smoking in an enclosed public place.
Pasha, based on the first floor of The Mill on Aqueduct Street, Preston, was accused of failing to ensure no smoking signs were displayed, failing to control smoking on smoke free premises, and intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of smoking by providing shisha materials.
Preston Magistrates Court heard investigators estimated up to 250 people could potentially have smoked there in a day.
A trial took place in the firm’s absence, during which the magistrates bench found the firm guilty of all three counts.
The court heard investigators found shisha and coals being prepared in a kitchen during a visit to the premises in August 2013.
A sign on the counter said customers were required to buy “a minimum of one shisha” “between two people” and that, at “peak times”, customers would be limited to two hours.
Prosecuting on behalf of Preston City Council’s environmental health team, David Haley said people were found smoking shisha in what was “an enclosed public space”.
He added: “People were working in the premises, which should have been smoke free.
“The visiting team concluded the premises were enclosed.
“The kitchen was given over to the preparation of shisha, and lighting of charcoal, and shisha was stored there.”
He revealed 70 smoking pipes were available and that 20 people were present in one of the rooms.
The case was adjourned to April 17 for the bench to consider financial papers.