Gillingham cafe owner Williams Weekes appears at Medway Magistrates’ Court

Pest control and mice control in NewcastleThe owner of a cafe has been fined after a rotting mouse corpse was found behind kitchen equipment.

Brompton Cafe in Gillingham was reported by a neighbour following signs of rodents and mouse droppings.

Environmental health officers carried out an unannounced inspection of the cafe on September 6, last year, and shut the premises down after discovering an active and widespread infestation of mice, poor cleanliness and a decomposing mouse in the kitchen.

The cafe re-opened five days later when officers felt conditions no longer presented a risk to health of the public.

The cafe owner William Weekes appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to three charges in relation to a lack of cleaning and repair, inadequate procedures to control a mouse infestation and contamination of food and packaging by mice.

Mr Weekes was fined £990 and was ordered to pay legal costs of £997.72 as well as a £33 victim surcharge.

Medway Council said since re-opening, the owner has continued to improve the facilities and at the latest inspection this November officers noted a marked improvement in hygiene standards.

The case follows a dispute between Brompton Cafe and Perna Rai, owner of Khera’s Mini Market and Off Licence next door, about the source of the mouse problem.

Perna Rai, owner of the mini market, appeared in court in August last year after inspectors found a mouse infestation in her shop.

The court heard how inspectors were hit by a “heavy smell” of mice as they walked into the shop and discovered droppings, urine and gnawed food packaging, as well as a rotting mouse on a shelf.

But in court, Mrs Rai blamed it on Brompton Cafe, which she called a “a breeding ground of vermin and infestation”.

Cafe owner William Weekes denied the allegations at the time, but just weeks later his premises was temporarily shut down, leading to last week’s court case.

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