A council prosecution has seen a business owner in South Norfolk found guilty of an offence under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020.
Ardjan Shenjatari, of Swainsthorpe Hand Car Wash had been charged with failing to ensure that his car wash business stopped trading between 15 November 2020 and 5 February 2021. He was fined £1,500.
The lockdown restrictions required businesses like the one run by Shenjatari to remain closed, yet officers from South Norfolk Council found evidence of trading taking place, when they visited.
The defendant was found guilty of an offence under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay a fine of £1,500, plus costs of £1200 and a victim surcharge of £150.
According to the council, Swainsthorpe Hand Car Wash was the only South Norfolk business that failed to cooperate when asked to abide by the public health measures during COVID-19 lockdown, which led to Shenjatari being served with a Fixed Penalty Notice in early February 2021.
Shenjatari failed to pay the penalty fee and this ultimately resulted in prosecution action being taken by the council.
South Norfolk said this was despite him receiving repeated advice from the council’s Environmental Health Officers to stay closed and also being in receipt of a substantial sum of money (in grants) to support business that were impacted by COVID-19.
Cllr Graham Minshull, Portfolio Holder for Clean and Safer Environment said, “South Norfolk Council has worked closely with our local businesses to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regrettably, this one business failed to listen to the advice given to them by our public health professionals and continued to trade during the period of lockdown restrictions last winter.
“By continuing to trade this business encouraged people to put their health at risk from non-essential travel, all for the sake of a clean car. It’s important that our officers use the full range of enforcement options in these rare cases so that the interests of public health are protected from the actions of the minority."