A KEBAB shop had its water cut off after the owner failed to pay his bills, a court heard.

Problems at MJ Kebab and Pizza were uncovered by chance last week when Swindon Borough Council officers made a routine inspection of the Cavendish Square takeaway.

When the health inspectors went to wash their hands they found there was no water – at all. It transpired the water had been cut off the day before by Thames Water over non-payment of bills.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard MJ Kebab and Pizza’s owners ZMZM UK Ltd was handed a hygiene emergency prohibition notice there and then, preventing it from opening until the problem was fixed.

Rosie Heath, representing Swindon Borough Council, said boss Jamal Majed had initially denied the water had been cut off as a result of unpaid bills: “He subsequently agreed after a lot of persuasion this was the case. He also agreed despite being cut off they had continued to trade. They had continued to prepare food until 11 o’clock at night. On the day of the inspection they had continued to prepare food.”

She said of the effect of not having any water: “They were unable to flush the toilet. They were unable to wash their hands. They were unable to clean anything after they’d taken the rubbish out.”

Inspectors were called by Majed two days later, on January 16, and told the water had been reconnected.

But there was a problem. “When they turned the taps on there was no hot water,” Ms Heath said.

The inspectors issued a certificate withdrawing the prohibition notice – but immediately issued another notice preventing it from reopening due to the lack of hot water.

The next day inspectors went back to find a plumber at the takeaway. The boiler had been fixed. The second prohibition notice was lifted.

MJ Kebab and Pizza had experienced similar problems in 2018, when an inspection found there was no hot water.

The takeaway was unrepresented in court. Ms Heath said: “Yesterday, I spoke to a solicitor instructed by Mr Majed. He confirmed they had not objection to the making of the order and the costs whatever that might be.”

Magistrates ratified the two prohibition notices issued by the council and awarded £2,584.50 costs. Chairman of the bench Sarah Neish said: “Having heard Mrs Heath’s evidence the bench is satisfied it was a proportionate step to take on January 14 and 16.”

MJ Kebab and Pizza has now been given a zero hygiene rating.

Mr Majed told the Advertiser: “I would like to apologise to the customers but they know how clean my shop is and they know it’s high quality.

“I hope to get a five star rating as soon as possible.”