Former director of noisy Ruislip bar fined after cockroach infestation

Monday 18 September: The former director of a Ruislip bar has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 after failing to address a cockroach infestation and breaching conditions relating to noise nuisance.

Dead cockroaches in the kitchens of Kho Kho restaurant and bar in Ruislip
Nikhil Walia, 38, of Kingsend Court, Ruislip, former director of Masala Gallery Limited, trading as Kho Kho restaurant and bar admitted four breaches of food hygiene regulations and two breaches of the conditions of his licence when he appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 12 September.

The court was told how Hillingdon Council's food and health and safety team made an unannounced visit to the bar on 5 July 2022 following a complaint a customer had found a cockroach in their meal.

The council's team discovered poor levels of cleanliness throughout, with ready to eat food stored uncovered in areas where there was evidence of live cockroaches and there were also maintenance issues, including an open drain with stagnant standing water. The council's officers considered the conditions to be an imminent risk of injury to health, the court heard.

The court was told Kho Kho had a history of pest infestations with pest control records showing evidence of cockroaches being treated previously in both September 2021 and February 2022.

In July 2022, a judge granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order prohibiting Kho Kho from operating as a restaurant, but this order was lifted by Hillingdon Council on 11 July 2022 following evidence that the health risk had been removed.

During the same hearing, the court was told how the council's out of hours nuisance team had received a call from a neighbouring resident complaining of amplified noise coming from Kho Kho at around 11.40pm on 14 January 2023.

The council attended the complainant's property 45 minutes later and witnessed loud, disruptive music with repetitive bass noise.

In January 2022, the council's Licensing Sub-Committee agreed to reduce the hours of Kho Kho bar and restaurant's regulated entertainment, to end at 11pm, following complaints from neighbouring residents of late-night noise dating back to summer 2019.

The court was told Walia admitted knowing this restriction and later blamed a customer for using the bar's iPad to play the music - which the staff could then not locate to stop it.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "We're committed to creating a borough where residents can feel safe and protected. So, we refuse to let businesses play fast and loose with the health and wellbeing of people in their communities.

"This is a great result reflecting the hard work of our food and health and safety and out of hours nuisance teams which have taken to task a business director who has continued to flout the rules, with no regard to his customers or neighbours."

For the four hygiene offences, relating to pest control, food storage and cleanliness, Walia was fined £1,538 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £615 and the council's prosecution costs of £4,877.

For the two licensing offences, there was no separate fine, but Walia was ordered to pay the council's costs of £2,472.

Page last updated: 15 Feb 2024