A meat shop owner has been prosecuted following an incident in which an employee lost a hand – after which the owner claimed the victim was a pushy customer who stole the meat and insisted on mincing it himself.
Imad Amin suffered life-changing injuries at Malik Raza’s shop, Surrey Halal Meat, in Kingston Upon Thames on 11 February 2017. Amin, who was 19 at the time, was mincing meat when his hand got caught in the machine because the protective guard plate had been removed. Ambulance staff couldn’t free him so they called the fire brigade. Amin’s hand was so badly injured it had to be amputated.
Raza had no employer’s liability insurance at the time of the accident and he failed to report it to the council. Senior EH officer Theresa Fidge only became aware of the accident because she read an interview with Raza in the local press in which he claimed that Amin was a pushy customer who got injured after trying to steal meat and mince it himself. Raza dropped these allegations and changed his plea to guilty only a month before the case was due to go to trial. He was handed a seven-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months; 100 hours of unpaid work; a compensation order of £75,000 to the victim; and a victim surcharge of £140.
“This has been the most challenging case I have ever worked on,” Fidge said. “We used phone forensics to prove that the injured man had been in the rear yard and had exchanged text messages indicating that he was working in the butchery. This was all new ground for me professionally. The case also took me down the paths of detailed statement-taking to prove finer points of law, allegations of perverting the course of justice and having to pursue witnesses.”