A UK restaurateur named Mohammed Zaman has been found guilty of manslaughter after a customer died from eating peanut-laced curry at his Indian restaurant in Yorkshire, England. He was sentenced to six years in jail.
Prosecutors argued that Zaman "ignored repeated warnings" to disclose that he was using ground peanuts in his dishes. The use of peanuts (which offer a cheaper alternative than the traditional ground almond mix) led to the hospitalization of one 17-year-old customer, who was told by staff that her meal contained no peanuts. Following that incident, a trading standards officer told staff that customers must be informed they were using peanuts, but the warnings went ignored.
In January 2014, one customer — whose to-go order allegedly came with "no nuts" written on the lid — died after ingesting a peanut-laden chicken tikka masala from Zaman's restaurant.
The BBC reports that prosecutors argued the restaurateur had a "reckless and cavalier attitude to risk" and "put profit before safety" at all his outlets. The jury also heard that Zaman, who was nearly £300,000 (approximately $430,000) in debt, also cut costs by hiring untrained, illegal workers.
On Monday, Zaman was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and six food safety offenses. In an interview with the BBC, a detective with the Yorkshire Police expressed shock at Zaman's "lack of remorse" and attempts "to distance himself from any involvement in his death," saying it signified a "lack of compassion and understanding about that he's actually done."