Restaurant Owner Accused Of Killing Customer With Curry In UK

10/05/2016 9:53 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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AFP via Getty Images
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY LUCIE GODEAU: A plate of Chicken Tikka Masala is pictured in the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 29, 2009. The Ali family, owners of Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow, claim to have come up with the creamy, mildly spicy curry in the 1970s to please the Scots, and which eventually become the most popular dish in British restaurants. 'Chicken tikka masala was invented in this restaurant, we used to make chicken tikka, and one day a customer said, 'I'd take some sauce with that, this is a bit dry',' said Ahmed Aslam Ali, 64, founder of Shish Mahal. AFP PHOTO/Andy Buchanan (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON -- A Bangladeshi-origin owner of a restaurant in northern England went on trial yesterday charged with manslaughter after a man with a severe nut allergy died as a result of dining at his restaurant.

Mohammed Zaman denies manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice and six food safety offences in relation to the death of Paul Wilson.

"Zaman received numerous warnings that he was putting his customers' health, and potentially their lives, at risk. Tragically for Paul Wilson, Mohammed Zaman took none of those opportunities and ignored all of the warnings he was given," prosecutor Richard Wright told Teesside Crown Court in North Yorkshire.

53-year-old Zaman's restaurant is called Indian Garden, a popular trend among Bangladeshi-origin restaurateurs to cash in on the popularity of Indian food in the UK.

Wilson, 38, was found dead at his home in Helperby, North Yorkshire, after buying a takeaway containing peanuts from Indian Garden in January 2014. He had reportedly told staff at the restaurant, in Easingwold, that his meal must be nut-free.

"An analysis of the curry recovered from the plate in the kitchen of Paul Wilson's home also demonstrated that peanut had killed him. Less than three grammes of the sauce from the curry would have been sufficient to give rise to the level of peanut in the stomach," the prosecution claims.

The court was told that a week before Wilson's death, a UK trading standards officer found evidence of peanuts in a meal she had been told was peanut-free and discovered a box labelled blanched ground peanut in the kitchen of Jaipur Spice restaurant in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, another one owned by Zaman.

The jury was told that Zaman had been employing illegal workers in his takeaway and substituted almond powder with cheaper ground nut mix, which contained peanuts, as a way of cutting costs.

Zaman denies contravening EU food safety regulations and selling food not of the substance demanded, falsely describing food on a menu, and contravening food safety regulations by placing food described as nut-free on the market that was unsafe for nut allergy sufferers.

The trial is expected to last around three weeks.

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