Take­away shop was a ‘dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen’, Me­gan trial told

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

THE mother of Me­gan Lee has de­scribed how her daugh­ter went from jok­ing and chat­ting about mois­turiser to strug­gling to breathe at the top of the stairs of their fam­ily home as she des­per­ately cried for help.

Less than an hour ear­lier Gemma Lee had col­lected the 15-year-old school­girl from a friend’s house where she had shared a take­away meal af­ter a shop­ping trip and re­vis­ing for their forth­com­ing mock ex­am­i­na­tions, a court heard.

Nut al­lergy suf­ferer Me­gan was said to have had an “im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion” af­ter eat­ing a seekh ke­bab starter and had told her friend her mouth “feels funny, a bit tingly”.

A court heard Me­gan, of Oswaldtwistle, made a joke of it and took some liq­uid an­ti­his­tamine be­fore eat­ing the rest of the meal - apart from the ke­bab - de­liv­ered by the Royal Spice Take­away in the town. When Me­gan got in her mother’s car the only signs of dis­com­fort was a red rash on her left cheek, the court was told.

In a state­ment read to the court, Mrs Lee said: “Look­ing at her there was noth­ing un­usual or threat­en­ing with Me­gan’s ap­pear­ance and the signs were noth­ing that I had not seen be­fore.

“On the way home Me­gan seemed fine, ex­tremely chatty and telling me what she had bought from shop­ping, jok­ing about hav­ing the re­ac­tion.”

Manch­ester Crown Court heard they ar­rived home just af­ter 7pm on De­cem­ber 30 2016 and Me­gan chat­ted about mois­turiser and had a drink of wa­ter in the kitchen be­fore she sat on the sofa, she said.

Me­gan then went up­stairs to get ready for bed and put her nightie on, her mother said.

Mrs Lee said: “Af­ter 15 min­utes I heard her shout ‘mum’. It was the way she shouted that made me get up so quickly.”

Me­gan was peer­ing over the ban­nis­ter as her mother looked up and then she dis­cov­ered her daugh­ter was strug­gling to breathe and that her lips were swollen and blue.

She con­tin­ued: “Me­gan was pan­ick­ing. I didn’t know if the strug­gling to breathe was a panic at­tack. I told Me­gan to calm down and that I would help and she would be OK.”

Af­ter she called for an am­bu­lance she laid Me­gan on her side as she at­tempted mouth-to­mouth re­sus­ci­ta­tion.

Mrs Lee said: “Her eyes were closed and I tried to look to see if she was breath­ing, I couldn’t tell.

“Then she gasped and at that point I re­alised she was no longer breath­ing.”

She went on to give heart com­pres­sions un­til the paramedics ar­rived at the ad­dress and she was taken to hos­pi­tal where she died on Jan­uary 1 af­ter she suf­fered ir­re­versible brain dam­age, the court heard. Mrs Lee said that her daugh­ter had pre­vi­ously eaten all of the items or­dered, ex­cept for Pesh­wari naan bread, and had not suf­fered an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion pre­vi­ously.

She said: “As a fam­ily, and Me­gan her­self, we would al­ways be care­ful about in­gre­di­ents in food. Me­gan was care­ful in her food choices. She would look at la­bels to avoid food she was al­ler­gic to.

“Both of us (Mrs Lee and hus­band Adam) un­til we found our­selves in this sit­u­a­tion were not aware Me­gan’s al­ler­gies could have led to her death and we were al­ways led to be­lieve she had mild al­ler­gies.”

Royal Spice owner Mo­hammed Ab­dul Kud­dus, 40, and al­leged man­ager, Harun Rashid, 38, deny the man­slaugh­ter of Me­gan by rea­son of gross neg­li­gence.

PRO­CEED­ING

Me­gan Lee died at home

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