Local Business Owner Ordered to Pay £25,000
A local business owner has been given an eight-month suspended jail sentence and also been ordered to pay more than £25,000 in fines and legal costs.
Akhtar Khan, 57, the owner of Ash Food Fare in Aston in which a worker lost his hand in a horrific accident involving a meat mincer, admitted a single breach of health and safety regulations.
Mr Khan’s management of the shop was described as “woeful” by Judge James Burbidge QC, who said: “It is beyond belief the machine was still being used even after a man lost his fingers.”
The mincer at the Witton Road store was missing a vital hand guard on the day that victim Nasa Iqbal used it, the court heard.
Paramedics recovered three of the 37-year-old worker’s fingers from the machine but the incident had injured his hand so severely it had to be amputated below the wrist.
Barry Berlin, prosecuting, told the court that police found the mincer still being used an hour after the accident and it was still found to be in use by health and safety officers form Birmingham Council later the same day.
Mr Berlin said: “Mr Abdul (the manager) said he used Fairy Liquid and hot water to clean it, which was fairly inadequate.
“He then passed vegetables through it before using it.
“There was no safe system of work here at all.
“We have looked and we can’t find any steps he (Khan) took to protect his staff from the unguarded mincer.”
Simon Morgan, defending, said that though Khan accepted responsibility for the incident, he was unaware of the machine’s missing hand guard.
Mr Morgan said: “He fully accepts (responsibility) and bitterly regrets the injury caused.
“He is 57 years of age, has no previous convictions, he is very highly regarded.
“He has worked extremely hard all his life.”
Birmingham Crown Court also heard that Khan is an individual who has accomplished much for the community in the past two decades.
Judge Burbidge said: “You should have been more proactive and should be well attuned, given your position in the community, to follow basic safety procedures.
“If you had been, Mr Iqbal would not have suffered that traumatic amputation.”
Khan was told that he must pay a £4,000 fine and £21,869 in legal costs.