A FORMER restaurant owner has been banned from running or managing any food business indefinitely and ordered to pay a £4,430 court bill.

York magistrates made the order against Di Wu when he was prosecuted for the second time in two years over conditions at Hong Kong Chop House.

Victoria Waudby, prosecuting for City of York Council, said the restaurant and takeaway in Swinegate had failed to get a scores on the door rating of more than one star in four inspections and that food hygiene improvement notices had failed to get it to clean up its act.

She described dirty and unhygienic conditions in its kitchen and ready-to-eat food exposed to contamination from raw meat.

Wu's solicitor Steve Munro said he had sold the restaurant business in April 2019 and no longer had any connection with it.

He had had financial problems and family medical matters to deal with as well.

The solicitor claimed Wu was now running a cafe in York which had recently received a four star rating.

But Mrs Waudby said the council had no evidence Wu was linked to the cafe.

Wu, 35, of Walney Road, Heworth, pleaded guilty to three poor hygiene offences and one of failure to comply with a food hygiene improvement notice.

He was fined £1,300, ordered to pay £3,000 prosecution costs and a £130 statutory surcharge.

He was also made subject to a hygiene prohibition order banning him from being involved in the management of any food business indefinitely.

Outside court, he said: "I tried everything I could so that people could eat safely and healthily. I have tried my best."

In August 2018, he and his company Infinity Hardheadedness Ltd of Manchester, which is now in liquidation, were ordered to pay more than £11,000 after each admitted seven food hygiene offences.

Ms Waudby said council environment health officers gave the restaurant a rating of one at an unannounced inspection on December 11. 2018.

They also issued a food hygiene improvement notice compelling him to improve his kitchen's hygiene.

But when they returned on February 26 2019, "there had been little progress in dealing with the issued raised from the December 2018 inspection," she said.