Lancaster takeaway owned by jailed paedophile can be run by his wife

Mognies, Lancaster
Mognies, Lancaster

A takeaway owned by a convicted paedophile can be run by his wife after she was allowed to keep her premises licence - but with conditions.

Siraj Patel, who owned Mognies takeaway in Lancaster, is currently serving a four year jail sentence for child sex offences and police suspended the premises licence in order to prevent other children being groomed or abused.

Police also found illegal immigrants living and working at Mognies all employed by Mr Patel.

Savera Patel, wife of Siraj Patel, was allowed by licensing chiefs to have the Mognies premises licence transferred into her name because there was no evidence that she, any other family members or staff were involved in any “wider sexual grooming activity”.

Her solicitor said Mrs Patel was of “impeccable character”.

Before this hearing in March, police had applied to Lancaster City Council to have the premises licence reviewed.

At a hearing today, Tuesday, April 4, it was agreed that the premises licence could continue but with stringent conditions.

The conditions fully address the concerns raised by police within the review application, specifically in relation to the protection of children from harm, public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder.

The conditions state that:

*CCTV equipment must be installed and maintained in good working order and that training should be provided for staff members.

*CCTV cameras must be recorded at all times when the premises is conducting licensable activities.

*The images recorded by the CCTV system must be kept for 30 days.

Footage must be made available to a police officer or authorises officer when requested.

*All staff employed within the premises must provide details of their immigration status when requested by police or an authorised officer.

*Siraj Patel will not be permitted to be involved with the management of the premises either directly or indirectly, financially or otherwise. He will not be named on any bank account related to the premises from February 2019 onwards.

*Siraj Patel will not be allowed on the premises at any time.

*Siraj Patel will at no time be present in any delivery vans associated with the premises.

*One member of trained door staff must be on duty from 11pm to close on Friday and Saturday nights.

Representing Mrs Savera Patel, John Halewood-Dodd said: “Mrs Patel has nothing to do with any wrongdoing. She wants to put this whole sorry episode behind her.”

PC Andy Taylor, representing the police, said: “The police are satisfied that the conditions agreed are suitable to ensure that the licensing objectives are being observed.

“The conditions are that Mr Patel has nothing to do with the premises and the delivery vehicles.

“It is important to protect children. After mediation and consultation with Mrs Patel and the solicitors we feel that these conditions will prevent any further offences and there will be regular checks by the police and the licensing authority to ensure that these conditions are being upheld.

“The police will always be there to protect the public and children.”

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