Edinburgh restaurant hit by £1000 fine for rats

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A FRENCH restaurant owner has been fined £1000 for allowing rats to roam around his establishment.

Pierre Pelletier, 45, was brought to court after safety inspectors found a dead, decaying rat close to food in Le Marche Francais in West ­Maitland Street.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Pelletier had been warned on two prior occasions about the risk that rats posed to his restaurant.

The court heard that the venue is located close to tracks that were being laid for the tram network and that the works had disturbed ­settlements of rats.

Yesterday, in front of sheriff Michael O’Grady, Pelletier, of Haymarket ­Terrace, pleaded guilty to breaking food safety laws.

Food safety inspectors made the discovery after visiting Le Marche Francais on April 8, 2011. The restaurant was then closed in order for remedial work to be carried out.

Pelletier’s lawyer said that he had since faced financial ­hardship and was sequestrated last June.

Solicitor Roy Harley said: “This man has suffered significantly because of this problem.”