A HAMPSHIRE restaurateur who flouted several safety warnings from the fire service has been told to do 100 hours community payback.

Kumar Lama, 43, admitted breaking four fire prohibition notices over the use of first and second floor space above his Gurkha Chef restaurant in Winchester.

Fire inspectors had visited the premises in September 2012 and were unhappy about safety issues including the lack of fire risk assessment and that Mr Lama did not know how to operate the alarm.

The notice required nobody to go to the top two floors of the City Road property, except to collect belongings or use the toilet.

Fire officers revisited four times between October 2012 and June 2013, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Hannah Eales, prosecuting for the fire service, said there was evidence the space was being used by staff to live in.

Tom Evans, mitigating, said Lama bought the lease of the Gurkha Chef in 2011.

“He did not have an idea of what he was getting himself into. He had not taken any steps to see what regulatory restrictions were imposed on him.”

Lama, of Jewry Street, had since sold the business, now called Lali Gurans.

Sentencing, the Recorder of Winchester Judge Keith Cutler imposed the community order and told Lama to pay £2,000 towards the £2,800 prosecution costs and a £60 community surcharge.