Takeaway bosses jailed over teen's allergy death after manslaughter conviction

Nut allergy sufferer Megan Lee had an immediate allergic reaction after eating food from the Royal Spice takeaway in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire on 30 December 2016.

The 15-year-old died two days later after suffering irreversible brain damage from a later asthma attack.

The restaurant’s bosses, Mohammed Abdul Kuddus, 40, and Harun Rashid, 38, were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence at Manchester Crown Court.

Rashid has been jailed for three years and Kuddus for two.

Kuddus received an additional eight-month sentence, to run concurrently, for two food safety offences.

Rashid was given 10 months in custody, also to run concurrently, for the same offences.

Rashid was also found guilty of failing to discharge a general duty of employers and another count of failing to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure in contravention of European Union food safety regulations.

Kuddus had already pleaded guilty to those two charges.

Sentencing the pair, Mrs Justice Yip told them Megan was responsible enough to highlight her allergies when placing the order but “sadly the same responsibility was not at your end”.

She said: “The Royal Spice had no systems or processes to manage allergen control.

“The menu contained no information about allergens. No record was kept of the ingredients used in dishes.

“In short, it appears that no one at the takeaway had any way of knowing what allergens were in the food supplied.”

The court heard that Megan’s friend ordered the meal through the Just Eat website and wrote “prawns, nuts” in the comments and notes section.

But 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.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said her death was a “disaster waiting to happen”.

There was a “litany of failings” in the kitchen including poor hygiene and no records of ingredients kept, it was alleged.

The takeaway restaurant has since reopened under new ownership.

More follows…

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Children among 21 people found in refrigerated lorry at UK port

LONDON (REUTERS) – Children as young as 12 have been found among 21 people stowed inside a refrigerated lorry carrying sparkling water at a British port, the BBC reported on Wednesday (Nov 7).

The group, thought to be from Vietnam, was found by the Border Force at the port of Newhaven, south England, last Thursday, and included 15 children.

The BBC reported that a criminal investigation was underway, and that a Romanian man, thought to be the driver, had been charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK.

Two of the six adults were removed from the UK, and the other four went to immigration detention centres while their cases were assessed.

The children did not require medical treatment, and were placed in the care of social services.

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Weather: Commuters urged to take extra care as heavy rain and winds spread across the country

Wet and windy conditions continue this morning across the country after showers spread across many parts of Ireland yesterday.

According to Met Éireann,the rain will be heavy at times in the morning and afternoon across Leinster and parts of Ulster, with showers spreading nationwide throughout the day.

AA Roadwatch has warned motorists to take extra care as a result of the weather.

“It’s a mostly wet start to the day, especially in the east of the country, with surface water reported in parts,” a spokesperson said.

“Remember it takes longer to stop your vehicle in wet conditions, so slow down and leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front.”

Meanwhile, there are reports of minor delays with Irish Rail due to low adhesion on the tracks, as a result of the “leaf fall and wet weather”.

However, conditions are expected to pick up tomorrow morning with “scattered” showers predicted.

“Thursday morning will be bright and fresh and mainly dry. Showers will develop during the afternoon, although they will tend to be well scattered at the same time,” Met Éireann said.

“Highs of 9 to 11 degrees in southwesterly breezes.”

The wet and windy conditions are expected to return on Friday with strong winds in many parts of the country.

“Heavy rain will spread to all parts of the country during the morning and will continue in the afternoon and finally ease off in the evening /early night,” the national forecaster said.

“Southerly winds will be strong and gusty for the morning and will decrease in the afternoon and turn southwesterly.”

The weekend forecast will see much of the heavy rain clear up with highs of 10C during the day, and 3C at night.

“A much brighter and fresher day on Saturday. Some showers will happen but there will be long periods of dry weather too.

“On Sunday there will be showers in the western half of the country, but mainly dry and bright for the east.”

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Raiders in hi-viz construction jackets hit three shops yards from ex-Garda station

Criminals dressed as construction workers smashed their way into three businesses before dawn and grabbed cash from registers before speeding away.

The shops that were targeted are all just yards from the Garda station in Stepaside, South Co Dublin, that was closed down five years ago.

Gardaí have collected high- quality CCTV footage and made an arrest within hours of the crime spree.

The burglaries began at 6.15am yesterday when a dark Renault Megane or Fluence car drove into Stepaside.

One man stayed in the car while his accomplice, dressed in a hi-viz jacket and with face covered, smashed his way into the Fleming’s Butcher shop and robbed the contents of a cash register.

He then turned his attention to the Simply Fresh fruit and vegetable shop next door.

CCTV footage shows him using a hammer to hit the glass more than a dozen times before standing back and then kicking it in.

Afterwards, he was driven around the corner to the Borza take-away.

At the chip shop the raider again smashed the shop with a hammer, pulling out a cash register tray.

The dark Renault was then seen by witnesses driving out of the village in the direction of Enniskerry.

“This just shows how important it is to get the Garda station open again. It should never have closed,” said Paolo Borza as he surveyed the damage in his take-away

“It just made Stepaside a target for robberies.”

Michael Fleming of Fleming’s Butchers, who is also chairman of the Stepaside Business Association, added: “The community is living in fear. My shop was broken into less than a year ago,” he added.

At the Simply Fresh store manager Keith Moran was also sweeping up shattered glass. “These guys have no fear of being caught,” he said.

A man in his 20s was held in Dundrum garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act for questioning.

Transport Minister and local TD Shane Ross said Stepaside will remain defenceless until the Garda Station re-opens next year.

“Delays have invited unwelcome elements who can carry out these types of crimes at will,” he said.

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Sinn Féin TDs at court hearing of man accused of killing soldiers

Four Sinn Féin TDs turned up to support a man appearing at the High Court in relation to the murder of two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers.

John Downey was remanded in custody, after he was detained by gardaí on Monday under a European Arrest Warrant in a joint operation with the PSNI. Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, Martin Ferris, Dessie Ellis and Sean Crowe were present at the hearing.

Prosecutors in Northern Ireland believe there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Downey for the murders of Lance Corporal Alfred Johnston (32) and Private James Eames (33). They died when an IRA bomb exploded in a car they were checking in Enniskillen on August 25, 1972.

But Mr Downey told gardaí he believed the “DUP and not the DPP” decided to charge him, the court heard.

Speaking outside court, Mr Doherty said: “It is matter of record that the British government has said previously that Mr Downey was not wanted in connection with any offences.”

Mr Downey’s previous trial on charges in connection with the 1982 Hyde Park bombing collapsed in 2014, after it was revealed he had received a written assurance from the British government that he was not wanted by the authorities. The extradition hearing takes place on November 23.

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Solicitor diverted €266,000 from clients' wills into her own accounts

A tribunal has recommended a solicitor be struck off after a Law Society investigation found she diverted €266,000 of client funds into her personal bank accounts.

The siphoned-off cash included sums left in a will to charity and a priest.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard Donegal solicitor Moya O’Donnell misappropriated and misused client funds between 2012 and 2017 and produced falsified documentation in an attempt to conceal her actions.

These included a letter purporting to be from the Revenue Commissioners, and a false record of an electronic fund transfer payment.

In one instance, €15,000, which should have been paid over to the beneficiary of a will was used by the solicitor to buy a car. Another €15,000 payment into the solicitor’s personal bank account was recorded in her files as being fees paid to a county council.

Law Society investigators also found extensive evidence of “teeming and lading”.

This is the use of one client’s monies to discharge the liabilities of another with the deficits later being cleared from other client funds coming in.

The tribunal heard there was a potential shortfall of €476,000 in the client account which would have to be met by the Law Society’s Compensation Fund.

Barrister Neasa Bird, for the Law Society, said it had uncovered “dishonest conduct of the most egregious nature” and the “falsification of books and records to attempt to conceal the dishonesty”.

Ms O’Donnell was suspended from practising as a solicitor by the High Court last year. Her law firm in Killybegs and Glenties has since closed.

At the tribunal yesterday, her solicitor, Sean Sexton, said she was admitting to the allegations and acknowledged she was guilty of misconduct.

He said she accepted she was “going to face the ultimate sanction” of being struck off, but intended to make every effort to reimburse any shortfall on her client account.

Mr Sexton, who has represented solicitors at the tribunal for 20 years, said the matter had been “probably the most traumatic and emotionally upsetting case” he had dealt with.

Ms O’Donnell’s husband, David Madden, took over the running of the practice last year while it was being closed down, but died in tragic circumstances shortly before Christmas. The tribunal heard he had not had any prior knowledge or involvement in his wife’s actions.

Mr Sexton said a medical report showed Ms O’Donnell was extremely vulnerable and needed a lot of care and support from those around her.

Ms Bird told the tribunal that inspections of Ms O’Donnell’s practice were conducted by the Law Society in August and November last year.

Investigating accountant Damien Colton identified 42 payments totalling €266,000 from the client account to Ms O’Donnell’s personal and credit card accounts.

Several estates she had been handling had large deficits, with significant sums being paid into her personal accounts or used for unrelated client matters.

One estate examined had a net deficit of €289,000.

Another had a deficit of more than €16,000. This comprised two charitable bequests of €6,300 and a further bequest of €4,300 which should have been paid to a priest.

Instead all of the money went into the solicitor’s personal account.

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Sister sues her siblings over 'terror dogs' in dad's home

Two dogs said to have terrorised a mother in her home were miniature Jack Russells, a judge heard in a row between five brothers and sisters over their father’s will.

Jeanette Wosser, of Cromcastle Court, Kilmore West, Dublin 5, claimed in the Circuit Civil Court that the dogs – Rusty and Sparky – barked continuously night and day to the “terror and nuisance” of herself and her young son.

Ms Wosser (45) alleged she had been unable to use her clothes line because of the two dogs, as a result of which she had felt compelled to buy a machine to dry her family wash.

Her child had been unable to play in the back garden which, she claimed, had been fouled by the dogs.

She claimed she had been forced out of her father’s home because she had felt bullied and intimidated and was suing her siblings for court orders granting her restoration of her right of residence and damages.

Ms Wosser sued her brothers Noel, Darren and Paul Wosser and her sister, Donna Cassells.

Each of them, the court heard, had been left a one-fifth share in father Michael Wosser’s €250,000 home at 39 Castletimon Green, Kilmore West, Dublin, following his death nine years ago.

Ms Wosser told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke she had been living in her father’s home, which had a granny flat.

In January 2012 Donna Cassells, executrix of their father’s will, had told her she was housing her son and his girlfriend in the flat and she had agreed to that providing they did not bring in any dogs.

Donna’s son had brought in a kennel and two dogs, and when she told him she had specifically objected to dogs, she had been told to “f**k off”, it was claimed.

Barrister Damien Keaney, who appeared with Ferry’s Solicitors for all of the defendants, told Judge Groarke their father’s will was not in dispute.

Mr Keaney said that proceedings had initially begun six years ago when an offer had been made to Ms Wosser by the defendants to sell the house and split the net proceeds five ways, but this had not been responded to.

Peter Maguire, who appeared with Thomas Loomes Solicitors for Jeanette Wosser, said she had literally been thrown out of No 39 on to the road six years ago and the State had to pick up the €1,200 monthly tab to put a roof over her head.

Mr Maguire said she had initially valued her right of residence at €160,000, but he had advised the matter should be settled for significantly less than that.

She wanted the court to put a value on her right of residence and, if necessary, make an order for sale of the property.

Judge Groarke, having heard Ms Wosser’s evidence, was told that the five-way split offer was still available. The judge directed the house be sold and proceeds be divided equally between all five parties on the basis each of the parties bear their own costs.

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British police arrest six men over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy

LONDON (REUTERS) – British police have arrested six men after a video was posted on the Internet that showed men mocking the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze by burning an effigy of the building as part of Guy Fawkes’ Night celebrations.

The video which appeared on social media showed a cardboard model of the tower with cut outs of residents in the windows being set alight on a bonfire while those watching laughed and made jokes.

Grenfell Tower, a social housing block that was home to a close-knit, ethnically diverse community, was engulfed by flames in the middle of the night of June 14, 2017, killing 71 people in the country’s deadliest domestic fire since World War II.

“To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable,” Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter.

Police said the men, whose ages range from 55 to 19, had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after handing themselves into a police station in south London.

Across Britain in early November, towns and villages hold annual firework parties and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, the Roman Catholic plotter who tried to blow up parliament in 1605.

Larger celebrations often burn celebrity figures with effigies of flamboyant ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson being torched at a number of events this year while previous targets have included US President Donald Trump.

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Former IRA man facing charges related to 1972 killing appears in High Court on extradition warrant

A Donegal man facing charges in relation to the killing of two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers in Enniskillen in 1972, has been brought before the High Court on an extradition warrant.

Northern Irish authorities are seeking the surrender of John Downey (66) to face charges in relation to a 1972 bombing in Enniskillen which killed two British Army Infantrymen.

Lance Corporal Alfred Johnston and Private James Eames were killed when a device exploded in a vehicle they were checking on the Irvinestown Road, Cherrymount, in 1972.

Mr Downey was arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant at his home address in Ards, Creeslough, Co Donegal on Monday and brought to the High Court on Tuesday.

The warrant was issued by Northern Irish authorities and endorsed by the High Court on Monday morning.

Det Sgt Jim Kirwan of the Garda Extradition Unit told Ronan Kennedy BL, for the State, that he arrested Mr Downey on foot of the warrant and cautioned him.

In reply, Mr Downey told the detective “I’d say it was the DUP and not the DPP” who decided to pursue the matter, Det Sgt Kirwan said.

Counsel for Mr Downey, Garnet Orange SC, said his client would be contesting the application to surrender him and was “very anxious” to secure bail.

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said she was satisfied the person before her was the person to whom the warrant related.

She fixed November 23 as the date for the full hearing of the extradition case and remanded Mr Downey in custody to that date.

Ms Justice Donnelly also fixed Thursday November 8 for the hearing of a bail application.

Mr Kennedy told the court that the State was not consenting to bail but did not object to an early bail application.

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Ryanair sacks six cabin crew who 'staged photo' sleeping on airport floor

The Ryanair cabin crew pictured lying on a Spanish airport office floor last month after becoming stranded by bad weather have been sacked.

The image was “staged” by six crew members in protest at their treatment at Malaga Airport on the Costa del Sol in the early hours of October 14.

They were part of a group of eight pilots and 16 cabin crew based in Portugal who say they were forced to spend several hours in the room after landing at Malaga just after midnight following diversions caused by Hurricane Leslie.

Today Luciana Passo, head of the SNPVAC cabin crew union in Portugal, confirmed the sackings.

He said: “Ryanair thinks it was harmed by the publication of that photograph when it was no more than a show of the crew members’ justified feeling of indignation.”

Promising a swift union response to the airline’s “awful” decision, he added: “The union’s legal team are now dealing with the matter.”

The budget airline complained the photo had been staged after union representatives claimed last month 24 crew members spent more than seven hours in the office sharing seven chairs and the floor, before they were taken to a VIP area to sleep on shared sofas.

It released CCTV video footage showing how the crew laid down on the floor to pose for the picture that went viral on social media.

The company admitted the crew had spent “a short time” in the room because a Bank Holiday in Spain meant nearby hotels were full, but refuted claims anyone had slept on the floor.

Fernando Rikote,a Malaga-based delegate for SITCPLA, the Spanish union for airline employees, said the crews only flew back to Porto at 11.30am the following day “without proper rest, without sleeping at all.”

He claimed that when the crew asked the operating captain of the plane that flew them back to Portugal if they could open the aircraft bar and heat up some sandwiches and have some soft drinks, he called the operation room in Dublin for permission and was told: “No they can’t.”

Another union rubbished the idea Ryanair couldn’t find room for the crew in one of the 88,000 hotel beds Malaga has.

Leading Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha said it had been told by the company six workers had been fired for “a serious breach of contract for staging a photograph to support a false claim.”

A Ryanair spokesman said: “All 6 cabin crew members in Porto were dismissed on Mon 5 Nov for breach of contract on grounds of gross misconduct, after staging a fake photograph to support a false claim (widely reported in international media outlets) that they were ‘forced to sleep on the floor’ of the Malaga crew room, which was behaviour which damaged their employer’s reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust with these 6 persons.”

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