Shop mice infestation

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A shop proprietor has landed in hot water with council officials for the second time in a month after mice were found in his mini market.

The Stonka mini market on New Hall Lane, Preston, was shut for three days under an emergency hygiene control order after council officials found a mice infestation there on June 11.

Preston City Council applied to magistrates for an emergency prohibition notice.

But the establishment hired a pest control company to remove the mice problem in the mean time.

A spokesman said the council’s officers were happy that staff had taken relevant measures to remove the mice.

They allowed the store to re-open on June 13.

Sirwan Darkala, who is proprietor of the store, had to pay £200 to the council in court costs to cover the council’s fee of applying to Preston Magistrates Court for the emergency prohibition notice.

The council said it had given him a schedule of works which they are working through and officers will determine if any further action is needed, depending on the progress.

The case came just a month after Darkala, 28, found himself £780 out of pocket at the same court after continuing to supply illicit tobacco products at a previous shop - despite being warned about selling fake cigarettes three months before Trading Standards officers visited the premises.

During a trial in May, which took place in his absence, he was found guilty of the supply of illicit tobacco products on three occasions at Nasza Biedronka, on New Hall Lane, in October and November 2013.

Preston Magistrates Court heard a Polish-speaking test purchaser was advised to “hide” the illegal L&M branded cigarettes before leaving the shop.

The smuggled packs were not labelled in English which Trading Standards said “denies consumers valuable information about the dangers of smoking.”

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay a £50 surcharge and £230 costs.