Pizza Shop Owner More Concerned With Damage To Equipment
Emergency services have described their shock when a pizza shop worker told them not to free a little boy, caught in a machine, because it would damage the equipment. The five-year-old boy, who is the son of a worker, was in danger of losing three of his fingers after they became caught between the rollers of the machine at Pizza De Roma in Olton, Solihull.
However, former owner Sajid Mahmood, 42, told them that the equipment was worth £1,500 and asked them to dismantle it to free the crying child instead.
Stephen Hodgetts, watch commander from Solihull fire station, said in a statement: “The pizza shop was still open, staff were not helpful.
“I asked a shop worker if there was a child trapped in machinery and they confirmed there was.
“In the kitchen staff were preparing food, there was no sense of urgency.”
Mr Hodgetts described finding the child with the fingers of his right hand caught in the rollers of the machine, which had no guards to keep users safe.
But when the decision to cut the machine apart was taken, he said Mr Mahmood became aggressive
Mr Hodgetts said: “The child was crying and in pain. He [Mahmood] was more concerned about the machine. He was complaining about us cutting the machine.
“I expressed concern about his lack of compassion and he apologised but then continued to complain about the machine.”
The boy was freed and went on to make a full recovery.
Mahmood, who has now sold the venue, later admitted four breaches of health and safety law.
He was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £7,000 costs.
Mohammed Hussain, defending, said Mahmood had been trying to help the rescue operation by asking crews to dismantle rather than cut the machine.
He said: “He was agitated this incident was taking place and felt helpless. He was trying to help the situation, not hinder it.”