THE company that ran a Bradford shisha lounge that blatantly flouted the smoking ban has been fined £1.

Indulge Cafe Ltd, which ran Pasha Shisha Lounge on Edderthorpe Street, went into liquidation before being sentenced for a series of charges relating to the ban and other health and safety issues.

The fact that the company no longer exists meant the court could only impose a nominal fine when it came to sentencing on Thursday.

Officers from Bradford Council visited Pasha Shisha Lounge on several occasions last year, and saw numerous people inside the property smoking shisha pipes in an enclosed area.

They were charged with three charges of failing to prevent smoking in smoke-free premises, failing to discharge general health, safety and welfare duty to employee, contravening a health and safety improvement notice and failing to discharge the general health/safety duty to person other than employee.

Nobody from the company attended any of the court sessions, and when the case was heard on September 13 District Judge Richard Clews said: “There is enough evidence before me to prove these allegations.”

The company went into liquidation earlier this summer, and at the case there was lengthy debate as to whether a company in liquidation could still be sentenced.

The case was adjourned so he could research the issue, and on Thursday he returned his verdict.

He said that the company was guilty of the charges, but as it was in liquidation it was “unlikely” any assets could be obtained from the company in the way of a fine.

He said “with regret” that he could only impose a fine of £1 for the offences, a £30 victim surcharge payment and no costs.

He said that the penalty was “not reflective of the merits of the case and simply a reflection of the situation before the court.”

The Council had previously taken action against people involved in Indulge Cafe. Mohammed Waseem Elahi, Director of Indulge Café at the time of the offences was found guilty of six offences. He was fined £738 and ordered to pay costs of £550.

Nadeen Ramzan (the manager / Person in control) was found guilty of two offences, fined £150 and ordered to pay £300 costs.

The Council wanted to push ahead with charges against the company as well as these individuals.

The court was told that Council and HMRC officers visited Pasha on February 28 2018. There they saw people “with shisha pipes held to their mouths, exhaling smoke into the air.” An improvement notice was served on the business and management was asked to attend an interview on March 26. Nobody from the company attended.

On June 20 officers attended the business again and found 22 people smoking shisha indoors.

At a return visit the next day, people were once again seen smoking shisha indoors.

Pasha is still trading, but is now run by a new company - Elegant Bradford Lounge Limited.

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “This case should be seen as confirming that people cannot avoid a criminal conviction by failing to attend court hearings, or by trying to change a company’s name or directors. We will work to make sure people who have committed criminal offences are prosecuted if it is in the public interest to do so.”