York & North Yorkshire

Easingwold peanut death: Indian Garden owner 'put lives at risk', court hears

Mohammed Zaman
Image caption Mohammed Zaman was owner of the Indian Garden restaurant in Easingwold where Paul Wilson ordered a takeaway curry

A restaurant owner accused of killing a customer who died from an allergic reaction to a curry "put profit before safety", a court has heard.

Paul Wilson, 38, suffered a severe anaphylactic shock in January 2014 after eating a takeaway from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

Mohammed Zaman, 52, of Aylesham Court, Huntington, denies manslaughter.

The restaurant boss "cut corners at every turn", Teesside Crown Court heard.

When Mr Wilson ordered a takeaway meal from the restaurant, he had made it clear it must be nut-free, the jury heard.

The court was told "no nuts" was written on the order chit and on the lid of the curry he took to his home in Helperby, near Thirsk.

He was found dead later the same evening.

'Ignored all warnings'

The jury heard Mr Zaman took a "reckless and cavalier attitude to risk" at the restaurants he owned.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told the court Mr Zaman had swapped from using almond powder to the cheaper groundnut powder, containing peanuts, in June 2013.

Despite a warning from his supplier, the prosecutor said, the restaurateur did not warn customers he was using peanut ingredients.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Indian Garden restaurant pictured in 2011

A week before Mr Wilson's death, Mr Wright said, a trading standards officer found evidence of peanuts in another meal which was said to have been peanut-free, and discovered a box labelled blanched ground peanut in the kitchen of Mr Zaman's Jaipur Spice restaurant in Easingwold.

The officer told staff all customers must be informed chefs were using peanuts, the court heard.

"Mohammed Zaman received numerous warnings that he was putting his customers' health, and potentially their lives, at risk," Mr Wright said.

"Tragically for Paul Wilson, Mohammed Zaman took none of those opportunities and ignored all of the warnings he was given."

The prosecution said the restaurateur knew the food he served "posed a serious health risk".

Mr Wright said: "Time and again he ignored the danger and did not protect his customers."

Mr Zaman has also pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice, and six food safety offences.

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