Restaurant owner gets suspended sentence after employee sprayed with boiling oil

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A FAST food restaurant owner has been given a six month suspended prison sentence after one of his employees was covered in boiling hot oil.

Saidqur Rahman, of Conway Crescent, Bletchley, pleaded guilty to breaking health regulations at Aylesbury Crown Court on December 20, after failing to report the incident and having the faulty deep fat fryer that failed, causing the accident.

Suyleman Hashim was working at fast food restaurant, Roosters in Stony Stratford on June 6, 2009, when the old and poorly maintained cooker failed, spraying pressurised oil at more than 200 degrees over him.

Mr Hashim drove home before an ambulance was called and he was taken to the specialist burns unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for skin grafts.

The accident was not reported to the authorities and Rahman then quickly tried to dissolve the company through Companies House.

Milton Keynes Council’s Environmental Health Team was told about the incident by Mr Hashim’s wife shortly after the incident. Officers then went to Roosters to seize the faulty cooker, which had been hidden in the rear yard under a tarpaulin.

The court heard about a number of failings on the part of Rahman, who was then working as company director; the biggest being that the equipment had never been checked, maintained or cleaned leaving it as a ‘menace,’ according to Judge Simon Davis.

It had no needle in the pressure gauge, which was also hazed, as well as a blocked and dirty pressure relief valve.

It was also revealed that no risk assessments had been carried out or training on how to use the cooker. The judge said it was a ‘complete and utter dereliction of his (Rahman’s) primary duty’ to make sure customers and employees were safe.

The court heard the incident was not reported and the business stayed open for six months after it was dissolved.

In summing up Judge Davis said the ‘level of culpability was high’ and there was ‘a grave level of negligence’. MK Council asked for £11,682.19 costs but the court was told Rahman didn’t have any money. He was ordered to pay £2,500 towards the costs as well as being given the six month suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of unpaid work and being disqualified from acting as a director for five years.