Owner of “filthy” Kirkby sandwich shop faces crown court

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Kirkby sandwich shop owner has been sent to Nottingham Crown Court to be sentenced for 24 breaches of food hygiene standards.

David Hawkins ignored warnings from Ashfield District Council inspectors after they visited the Bakery, on Portland Street, in December 2015, and again in July 2016,

Magistrates in Mansfield told him any one of the charges could have caused harm to members of the public.

Inspectors reported filthy conditions, including greasy fans, mouldy fridge seals and dirty shelves, while the pie press and microwave oven, storage cupboards and chopping boards were unclean.

There were holes in the ceilings and gaps in the walls which could have let in rats, mice and other vermin.

Missing insulation strips meant the temperature for sandwich fillings could not be controlled, and uncovered pies were left to cool in rooms where they could have been contaminated.

The inspectors found that Hawkins failed to separate raw ingredients which could have contained harmful allergens, and saw that inadequately trained staff were drinking while preparing food, and not washing their hands when making sandwiches.

Hawkins, 26, of Windsor Road, Mansfield, admitted 24 charges of failing to comply with food safety and hygiene rules on Thursday.

Sarah Neale, mitigating, said Hawkins had “started on the back foot” after asbestos was found in the roof, causing delays, as well as problems with “boggy” land outside, and blocked pipes which prevented him from putting in washbasins.

Hawkins’ business partner dropped out, leaving him to cope with the paperwork, she said, but he struggled because of dyslexia and couldn’t afford to hire a replacement.

“He has unfortunately bitten off more than he can chew,” said Miss Neale. “He is a proud young man who wanted to provide for his family

“He has put blood, sweat and tears into this business for five years.

“He feels that he has let down his family. He feels extremely embarassed. He wanted to take over from where his parents left off.”

She said he neglected to train staff properly and left it to their “common sense”, but they were “unsupportive” and “blatantly disregarded” procedures he put in place.

Hawkins, a dad-of-two, was due to be evicted from the premises this week, the court heard.

Because the magistrates are limited to fining him, he was bailed to Nottingham Crown Court, to be sentenced on March 16.