Takeaway shop was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’, Megan trial told
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.
Megan Lee died at home