Coast restaurant shut down over hygiene issues

A RESTAURANT owner has failed in his bid to persuade judges a council health inspector doctored log books and data.

Daniel Cleret's Kenilworth restaurant was shut down after multiple health inspections.

Mr Cleret sued Sunshine Coast Council and council officer Denise Brooks for misfeasance in public office, negligence and trespass.

After an eight-day Brisbane Supreme Court trial, his action was dismissed.

But, unhappy with that decision, Mr Cleret took his case to the state's highest court.

In a judgment, Queensland Court of Appeal said Ms Brooks visited the restaurant several times, including five times between December 2008 and June 2010.

"The reports generally recorded that corrective action was required," the appeal court found.

Ms Brooks once told the restaurant it needed a separate handwash basin and gave it 12 months to comply.

Issues boiled over in June 2010, when Ms Brooks said Mr Cleret was to close the restaurant, and identified steps he needed to take.

The next month, the council set out set out 37 requirements for the restaurant to comply with.

Tensions simmered, further communication failed to resolve issues and by August 23 that year, the restaurant had shut.

Mr Cleret claimed the health inspector fabricated a report, "tampered with digitally recorded data or caused another person to do so" and also failed to account for deleted pictures taken during an inspection.

Ms Brooks said she had to stop one report part way through because water dripped onto it while in the restaurant kitchen.

This became a contentious issue, with the parties disagreeing about how and why the water may have dripped onto, or made its way, onto the report.

A judge at the earlier General Civil Appeal rejected any suggestion of fabrication or manipulation of evidence.

Another bone of contention related to Mr Cleret alleging Ms Brooks trespassed on the restaurant.

Ms Brooks said in her evidence she had walked through the open front door and stood at the counter.

To prove "misfeasance in public office", one basically had to show a public officer's malicious or invalid behaviour caused a loss.

The court dismissed Mr Cleret's appeal, and ordered him to pay the council's and Ms Brooks's court costs. - NewsRegional

News Corp Australia

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