THE OWNERS of a restaurant have appeared in court after authorities found multiple people living in flats above the business.

Bolton Council brought charges against two men for the housing above India Gate, in Chorley Road, Westhoughton.

Heron Ali, of Brougham Street, Burnley, and Nazmul Hussain, of Holly Street, Blackburn, stand accused of 19 offences, including a number of fire regulation breaches.

The pair, who run Chan Restaurants Ltd, appeared at Bolton Magistrates Court yesterday.

They pleaded guilty to all but three of the counts, denying they had obstructed a fire escape or failed to keep up with electrical inspections.

They also pleaded not guilty to a licensing breach, claiming to have had just four people living in the flats, rather than the five which would require a licence.

Other offences involved failure to "take such measures as were reasonably required" to protect the occupiers of the home. This involved padlocks on the outside of the doors which would have stopped inhabitants escaping in the event of a fire and "dirty and stained walls" from a leak which was not fixed.

Lead magistrate Janet Greatbanks adjourned the case to be heard as a trial at the Bolton court complex on Thursday, October 31.