An Indian restaurant owner has been found guilty of manslaughter after a customer died from an allergic reaction to a curry. Mohammed Zaman owner of Indian Garden restaurant used cheaper groundnut mix which contained peanuts rather than almond powder as a way of cutting costs.
However, he failed to notify customers and Paul Wilson, 38, who suffered from a severe peanut allergy died of an anaphylactic reaction after eating a takeaway from Zaman’s restaurant.
Zaman, from Huntington, York, had, throughout the trial denied manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice and six food safety offences but was found guilty of all charges except perverting course of justice at Teeside Crown Court.
He declared that he left managers to run his restaurants and that included ordering stock and hiring staff. He was not on the premises when the curry was sold. In June 2013, Zaman met with a supplier requesting that replace almond powder with groundnut powder, a cheaper alternative.
The supplier told Zaman that he would have to change the warnings on his menu but Zaman owner failed to do so.
Weeks before Mr Wilson’s death, a 17-year-old student, who also had a peanut allergy, fell seriously ill after eating from another of Zaman’s restaurants.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said the said the restaurant had written “no nuts” on his order and on the lid of his curry.
He added: “Mohammed 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.
“His was a reckless and cavalier attitude to risk and one that we, the prosecution, would describe as grossly negligent.”