Video shows man ordering the takeaway that killed him – as York restaurant owner jailed

Jailed: Mohammed Kalique Zaman. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police
23 May 2016 @ 5.07 pm
| Crime, News

This is the moment a man ordered the takeaway curry that would kill him.

Paul Wilson, 38, from Helperby near Boroughbridge, had a severe peanut allergy. He died after eating a takeaway containing high levels of the nut.

A restauranteur from York has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of Mr Wilson’s manslaughter after selling him the meal.

Police released footage of Mr Wilson picking up the takeaway as the man responsible for his death began his prison sentence.

Mohammed Kalique Zaman, 53, of Aylesham Court, Huntington, York, who owned the Indian Garden takeaway and restaurant in Easingwold, was found guilty by a jury at Teesside Crown Court today (Monday, May 23) following a two-week trial.

He was also found guilty of six food safety offences.

Mr Wilson was diagnosed as having a severe peanut allergy at the age of seven. He died after eating a takeaway that he believed did not contain peanuts.

Food marked ‘No nuts’

On the night of January 30, 2014, despite ordering a nut-free meal – the lid of the takeaway was clearly marked “no nuts” – Paul was served a chicken tikka masala dish that contained high levels of peanut.

The order for Mr Wilson's takeaway with ‘No Nut’ clearly visible
The order for Mr Wilson’s takeaway with ‘No Nut’ clearly visible
Paul returned home and prior to eating his takeaway, spoke to his mum on the phone.

He told her that he planned to eat his meal before having an early night. He then started to eat his meal but tragically, did not finish it.

At approximately 11.30pm that night, Paul’s housemate returned to the property and found a barely eaten takeaway curry and onion bhaji on the kitchen table.

He found Paul dead in the bathroom.

A joint investigation by North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Trading Standards found that Mr Zaman, who owned several other takeaways and restaurants in the York area, was in financial difficulty.

He had substituted almond powder for ground nut powder – a considerably cheaper product.

A Trading Standards investigation was ongoing at the time of Paul’s death after a 16-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for several days having also suffered an allergic reaction after eating a takeaway from the Indian Garden.

Despite being warned by both the supplier of the ground nut powder and specifically by Trading Standards as a result of the hospital admission, Mr Zaman continued to use the cheaper ground nut powder in his dishes.

No one can bring Paul back

North Yorkshire Police’s Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Shaun Page, welcomed the verdict. “However, no verdict can bring Paul back, or undo the devastation caused to his family,” he said.

Det Insp Page added:

My thoughts remain firmly with Paul’s parents, Margaret and Keith, who have lost their only child because of Zaman’s dangerous attitude to his customers’ safety.

They have acted with utmost dignity throughout this long process and I sincerely hope that the verdict will give them a small amount of comfort, knowing that someone has been held to account for their son’s death.

I know their greatest wish, regardless of the verdict, is that this does not happen to anyone else.

Unique investigation

Describing it as “a unique and challenging investigation”, Det Insp Page praised the joint working with trading standards and the Crown Prosecution Service which delivered justice.

“Paul’s death was avoidable,” he said.

“The outcome of this case sends a clear message to those who operate similar businesses that if they choose to operate in such a grossly negligent way, they are liable to prosecution as well as having to live with the potential deadly consequences.”

‘Our world was shattered’

Paul Wilson: found dead in his home in Helperby,
Paul Wilson: found dead in his home in Helperby,

Paul’s parents, Margaret and Keith Wilson, said they were devastated by his death. They said Paul had always taken great care to ensure he didn’t eat nuts.

This is their statement in full:

We are relieved that justice has been served and Paul can now rest in peace.

The death of our only son Paul on 30 January 2014, shattered our world and we are still struggling to come to terms with his death.

We found out from the early age of seven that Paul had a nut allergy and that made us more aware of food products and their ingredients, even items which stated ‘may contain nuts’ were never purchased.

Paul’s nut allergy had always played a very important role in his life especially when he started working in the hospitality industry as a chef at the age of 18.

Paul was always very particular about the food he ate and would go out of his way to cater for customers with various allergies.

Nothing can bring Paul back but it is our sincere hope that his death will raise awareness in the food industry so that this never happens again.

We also ask anyone with a food allergy to always be aware.