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Takeaway owner is jailed

PUBLISHED: 10:55 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 05 July 2010

A takeaway owner has been jailed for trading after hours from his shops in Oulton Broad.

Ozkul Karausta, 47, who owns and runs the Manhattan Pizza and Best Kebabs takeaways in Bridge Road, was yesterday sent to prison for 17 weeks after admitting seven licensing offences.

A takeaway owner has been jailed for trading after hours from his shops in Oulton Broad.

Ozkul Karausta, 47, who owns and runs the Manhattan Pizza and Best Kebabs takeaways in Bridge Road, was yesterday sent to prison for 17 weeks after admitting seven licensing offences.

Police officers started patrolling around the Bridge Road area in the early hours in the spring after shop owners and residents reported problems with noise and bad behaviour.

On May 5, police on patrol found Manhattan Pizza full of customers who were being served food at 1.50am - nearly two hours after the midnight closing time which is set out in the shop's licence.

At Best Kebabs, takeaways were being sold after the shop's 1am licence when officers passed at about 1.30am on May 26 and police officers filmed the illegal trading and reported the incidents to Waveney District Council's licensing team.

Karausta, of Bridge Road, pleaded guilty to four charges of serving food outside licensed hours and a further three charges of failing to display his licence and failing to produce it when asked by police when he appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court on October 3.

Ed Proffitt, for Karausta, told the court: “On these occasions, Mr Karausta was away and I think this can be put down effectively to sloppy management on his part. The shop got full, the people employed did not know how to manage the situation, it stayed open longer than it should have done and that's it.”

On February 13 this year, Karausta was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work after admitting similar breaches of his licence.

Chairman of the bench Trevor Lynes yesterday ordered Karausta to serve five weeks of his suspended sentence - reduced from six weeks because he had completed the 80 hours of unpaid work - and six weeks consecutively for the two new breaches, totalling 17 weeks.

Ken Sale, the district council's portfolio holder for the environment, said: “I welcome this custodial sentence, which sends a clear warning to those businesses that persistently flout the law.”

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