A Surrey butcher has been sentenced to seven months in prison after a young worker lost his hand in a mincing machine.
Kingston Crown Court heard on 4 April how Malik Raza, owner of Surrey Halal Meat in Kingston Road, New Malden, had employed 19-year-old Mr Imad Amin on cheap wages.
On the day of the incident, Saturday 11 February 2017, Imad had been mincing meat using a machine at the shop. Having received no proper training, and with the protective guard plate removed, his hand got drawn into the machine.
Ambulance staff were called to the scene, but they could not free him, and London Fire Brigade had to cut parts of the machine away. Due to the severity of his injuries, his hand had to be amputated.
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (Kingston Council), which prosecuted, said they were alerted to the case after Mr Raza gave press interviews claiming he had not employed Imad. Mr Raza claimed Imad had been a ‘pushy customer’ who got himself injured trying to mince meat in order to steal it. He dropped the allegation and changed his plea to guilty a month before the case was due to go to trial.
In their ensuing investigation, Kingston Council found the protective guard plate of the mincing machine had been removed to allow for quicker mincing and that Imad had been given no training to use the equipment.
Mr Raza was sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for failing to ensure safety at work and for failing to report a work-related accident to the relevant authorities.
Councillor David Ryder-Mills, said: “Mr Raza was aware of the safety standards required and didn’t have the necessary insurance should an accident happen.
“He chose to exploit cheap labour by having a young man with no proper training operate his machines. His motivation was to maximise his business profits whilst avoiding costs, which has left a teenager with horrific, life-changing injuries.”
Mr Raza was also ordered to pay £75,000 victim compensation and to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.
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