A “reckless” restaurant owner has been jailed for six years for the manslaughter of a customer who had an allergic reaction to a curry.
Paul Wilson, 38, suffered a severe anaphylactic shock in January 2014 after eating a takeaway containing peanuts from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire.
Mohammed Zaman, 52, was found guilty at Teesside Crown Court. The court heard he cut corners by using cheaper ingredients containing peanuts.
Mr Wilson died three weeks after a different customer with a peanut allergy bought a meal from one of Mr Zaman’s six restaurants and had a reaction requiring hospital treatment.
The restaurateur had a “reckless and cavalier attitude to risk” and “put profit before safety” at all his outlets, the jury was told.
Zaman was almost £300,000 in debt and cut costs by using the cheaper nut powder and by employing untrained, illegal workers, the court heard.
Sentencing him, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said Zaman had remained “in complete and utter denial” and ignored warnings from officials after 17-year-old Ruby Scott suffered a reaction to a curry, three weeks before Mr Wilson’s death.
He said he had thrown away his successful business and property portfolio worth £2m “in pursuit of profit”.
This tragic death was easily avoidable by taking simple precautions. Since December 2014, premises selling open food, such as takeaways and restaurants, have been required by law to let customers know if any of the 14 most dangerous allergens are ingredients in their food.
They include peanuts, eggs, milk, fish, crustaceans and mustard. Information is freely available on the FSA Website for business and consumers. If, however, you require assistance, please call us on (01626) 355160.