The owner of a bakery in Twickenham has been fined £10,000 for failing to comply with food hygiene regulations.

Belmont Bakery owner Stephen Doughty admitted charges of breaching the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 when he appeared at Richmond Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 4. As well as the fine, he was also ordered to pay £6,000 towards the council’s costs in prosecuting the case.

Mr Doughty, of Queens Road, received the verdict on Tuesday, January 3, following a previous court appearance at Richmond Magistrates Court on Thursday, December 8, which was adjourned after the baker had been issued a bankruptcy notice on November 8, which resulted in his bakeries being closed and the locks changed.

Environmental health officers carried out a surprise inspection in October 2010, after a tip off from a resident who found a dropping in a bread roll.

They found large accumulations of dirt, dust and food waste on the floor and shelving. Mouse droppings were found on floors, under trays and shelving and on window ledges.

Parts of the building were in disrepair and it was not deemed to be pest proof. Droppings were also found around sacks of flour, and a mouse was seen by inspectors. Thick layers of grease, food and dust, and more droppings were found on cooking and preparation equipment.

Another inspection in June 2011 found thick build-ups of dough and dirt in and on a fridge, on baking trays and no sign of any soap or towels around a wash basin. A walk-in fridge had a large amount of food debris and dirt in and around it. Tiles in the preparation room were missing, exposing bare bricks and plaster.

Mr Doughty said he “took his eye off the ball” after his mother and father died within a close time frame of each other.

He said: “It has been the worst three years of my life. I have owned this bakery for 20 years and nothing like this has ever been brought against me before.”

The 56-year-old said the problem with mice is due to the garages behind the property on Queens Road, and that he had tried to treat this as best he could.

Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Belmont Bakery has now closed down for other reasons but we would require Mr Doughty to carry out a very thorough deep clean and repair of the whole premises if he re-opens in the future.”