Environmental health officers were baffled when they visited a restaurant on the Isle of Wight and found it deserted, apparently left by its owner in a hurry.
Fridges at Mr Twinkles Magical Kitchen were full of decaying food, there was washing-up in the sinks and a half-finished board game lying on a table.
The owner, Davinder Hayre of Fartown, Huddersfield, had failed to turn up to a hearing at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court. In his absence, the court found Hayre guilty of failing to comply with a notice served under the Environmental Protection Act.
He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £611 costs.
In November last year environmental health officers served a notice on Hayre at his Huddersfield address. It required him to clean the restaurant premises within 21 days.
On 14 December, when Hayre had failed to comply, chief environmental protection officer Barry Monks visited the restaurant.
As well as the sink full of washing-up, there was a strong smell of decomposing food.
Monks said after the hearing: "Entering the place was eerie, one of the most surreal scenarios I have come across. It was as though someone had left in quite a hurry." by Gavin Foster