Megan Lee manslaughter trial: Takeaway owner will not give evidence in nut allergy trial

A takeaway owner accused of the manslaughter of a teenage girl who died after an allergic reaction will not give evidence at his trial.

Wednesday, 24th October 2018, 1:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th October 2018, 2:43 pm
Harun Rashid (left), 38, and Mohammed Kuddus, 40, arrive at Manchester Crown Court. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Mohammed Kuddus, 40, is accused of the manslaughter of 15-year-old Megan Lee, who suffered a reaction to a meal from the Royal Spice Takeaway in Oswaldtwistle, on December 30 2016.

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His barrister Simon Myerson QC told Manchester Crown Court this morningthat he would not be calling any evidence in the case.

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Nut allergy sufferer Megan died two days after she had an immediate reaction to a kebab and suffered irreversible brain damage from a later asthma attack.

The court has heard her friend wrote "prawns, nuts" in the comments and notes section when ordering food through the Just Eat website, but the meal she was served was later found to have the "widespread presence" of peanut protein.

Kuddus, of Belper Street, Blackburn, has admitted 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.

He also entered guilty pleas to the same offences on behalf of Royal Spice Takeaway Ltd, trading as Royal Spice.

His co-accused Harun Rashid, 38, of Rudd Street, Haslingden, has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The men, who are Bangladeshi nationals, deny manslaughter by reason of gross negligence.

Giving evidence on Monday, Rashid denied he was the manager of the takeaway at the time and said he was merely a delivery driver.

He said he set up the Royal Spice in 2009 but sold the business to Kuddus in late 2015.

The trial continues.