Takeaway bosses sentenced over death of 15-year-old-girl with nut allergy

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Harun Rashid (left) and Mohammed Kuddus (right) denied the manslaughter of 15-year-old Megan (PA)

Two takeaway owners convicted of the manslaughter of a 15-year-old girl by gross negligence after she suffered an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal have been jailed.

Nut allergy sufferer Megan Lee died from an asthma attack after she ate food from the Royal Spice takeaway in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire.

The teenager and her friend ordered online via the Just Eat website two days earlier and wrote ‘prawns, nuts’ in the comments and notes section.

Nut allergy sufferer Megan Lee died from an asthma attack (PA)
The pair were found guilty of unlawfully killing the teenager last month (PA)

However the meal, which included an onion bhaji, a seekh kebab and a Peshwari naan, was later found to have the ‘widespread presence’ of peanut protein.

Last month a jury at Manchester Crown Court found takeaway owner Mohammed Abdul Kuddus, 40, and manager Harun Rashid, 38, guilty of unlawfully killing Megan.

Rashid, who had claimed he was merely a delivery driver at the restaurant at the time, was jailed for three years on Wednesday, while Kuddus was jailed for two years.

The two-week trial heard there was a ‘litany of failings’ in the kitchen, including poor hygiene and no records of ingredients kept.

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Five days after Megan’s death on January 1 2017, the restaurant was immediately closed down following an inspection by Trading Standards and environmental hygiene officers.

Rashid, of Rudd Street, Haslingden, was also found guilty of failing to discharge a general duty of employers, contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act, and another count of failing to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures in contravention of European Union food safety regulations.

Megan ate food from the Royal Spice takeaway in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire (Google)

Kuddus, of Belper Street, Blackburn, had already pleaded guilty to those two charges on behalf of himself and on behalf of Royal Spice Takeaway Ltd, trading as Royal Spice Takeaway.

Both defendants, who are Bangladeshi nationals, were further bailed by Mrs Justice Yip but she’d told them to prepare for a custodial sentence.

Outside court, Megan’s parents Adam and Gemma Lee, from Oswaldtwistle, called for other food businesses operating ‘in such a deplorable and ignorant manner’ to learn from the verdicts and ‘not play Russian roulette with precious lives’.