A FISH and chip shop owner has landed a £700 bill after admitting breaching five environmental regulations.

Stephanie Glancey (CORR), who owns Nightingale Fisheries on Nightingale Avenue, Darlington, initially denied four of the offences but changed her plea to guilty on the morning of her trial.

Environmental officers from Darlington Borough Council found five breaches when they inspected the shop on November 13 last year, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told.

Amy Wennington, prosecuting for the council, said the inspector found dirty conditions in the rear kitchen and was concerned about the lack of a wash basin.

She said the inspector also found unacceptable levels of uncleanliness on the tiled walls, floor and ceiling as well as equipment such as the cooker, fish range and refrigerator.

The toilet walls did not comply with regulations as they were covered with artex, making them unable to be satisfactorily cleaned.

The court also heard a food safety diary was not up to date and there was no hot water to a hand basin.

The shop was given the lowest possible rating by the council, the court heard.

Jonathan Harley, mitigating, said his client has run the chip shop for 20 years and fell behind in the health and safety management following her husband's death three years ago.

He said all of the problems have now been rectified and Glancey, 50, is very proud of her shop and is determined to meet all criteria and restore her high rating with the council.

Magistrates ordered her to pay £425 fine, £250 costs and a £42.50 victim surcharge.