THE OWNER of a Chinese restaurant who has traded for more than 30 years has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of failing to comply with food hygiene laws.

Connie Yap appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday to face chargAes related to an inspection by the council at Connie’s in DevAizes Road, in Old Town.

Mrs Yap, 57, is alleged to have failed to follow procedures related to storage, let grease and food waste accumulate behind a wok and to have allowed a wash hand basin to become mouldy and obstructed by other objects.

The restaurateur, whose husband attended court to support her, spoke only to confirm her name and address during the hearing.

Phil Wirth, prosecuting, told magistrates: “The prosecution say this is a case which is self-evident.

“It relates to Mrs Yap and the management and food safety and food hygiene arrangements within a food premises which she owned and operated.

“There are a number of contraventions as outlined to you. In the prosecution view this is a matter that can quite rightly be dealt with by this court.”

Peter Riddle, defending, said: “I entirely agree. I cannot understand why it would go to the crown court. The Government has taken away the defendant’s right to costs at the crown court but left it at the magistrates’ court, which you may think is good reason to leave it here.”

Mrs Yap, of Rushey Platt, is accused of 14 offences including letting floors and walls beneath a wok become encrusted with grease and food detritus. She is also alleged to have failed to keep eggs which had been cracked and pooled in containers at the right temperature.

The charges relate to an inspection on December 12, 2011.

A date for the trial, which is expected to last a day-and-a-half and take evidence from five prosecution witnesses, will be fixed out of court.

The Chinese restaurant was launched more than 30 years ago.

Mrs Yap left the former Bamboo House in Marlborough, still acclaimed by some as the town’s finest ever Chinese restaurant, to open her own venture in Devizes Road.