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Former Ambleside restaurant owner has fine for hygiene offences cut
9:10am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
THE former owner of a Lake District restaurant has had her fine for hygiene offences cut by 20 per cent.
Lucy Nicholson, 55, was fined £5,000 last month after she pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to three counts of failing to keep the kitchen at Lucy’s on a Plate clean.
But on Monday the judge who had sentenced her revealed that, on reconsidering the case, he had decided the fine was too heavy.
So he reduced it by £1,000 to £4,000.
Nicholson was prosecuted by South Lakeland District Council after inspectors visited the premises in Church Street, Ambleside, and found the kitchen to be in violation of numerous breaches of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.
The offences - committed in 2010, between July 15 and September 7 - were failing to keep food premises clean and in good repair, failing to ensure food was protected and fit for human consumption and failing to keep records on how food is stored.
Announcing the reduction in the fine, the judge, Recorder Simon Medland QC, said at a brief hearing on Monday: “Having reflected, not so much on the sentence itself but on the impact of that sentence in the light of the defendant's ability to pay, I have come to the view that – although the sentence itself was perfectly proper and nobody could argue against that in view of the offences – the impact of the sentence on the defendant would be disproportionate.
“It is not because I have in any way changed my mind about the seriousness of the offences, but because of the defendant’s means to pay, which in my view I didn’t take sufficient account of.”
Lucy’s on a Plate is now under new management and was recently awarded a five-star food hygiene rating.