A South Tyneside business owner has been fined £600 for smoking on his premises.
Masoud Dadashzaeh Eyrdmoussa, who runs M&M Chippy on Brighton Parade, Hebburn, was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £60
The judge was satisfied that there was clear evidence of smoking on the premises and the case at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was proved in Mr Eyrdmoussa’s absence.
Mr Eyrdmoussa had received verbal and written warnings following several food hygiene inspections by South Tyneside Council’s Environmental Health team.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “The smoking ban in enclosed spaces exists to protect the public and members of staff from the dangerous effects of second-hand smoke.
“We take our enforcement duties very seriously and I hope this prosecution sends out a clear message to business owners who flout the ban.”
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing, added “Smoking is our biggest cause of ill health in the borough and as a result lung cancer is responsible for the largest amount of early deaths.
"Reducing smoking is a top priority for our Health and Wellbeing Board and we are committed to helping our children grow up in a smoke free borough."
The smoking ban came into force in England on July 1 2007 – making it illegal to smoke in all indoor public places.
These included any workplace, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
Ailsa Rutter, director of anti-smoking group Fresh, said: “This law is incredibly popular, and the vast majority of workplaces have complied with the law since it was first introduced.
"We welcome South Tyneside Council protecting the health of local people by continuing to take this issue seriously.”