NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Chef killed over Mintlaw takeaway order row

Death scene

A restaurant manager killed a chef in their Aberdeenshire workplace after an "insignificant" row over a takeaway order, a court has heard.

First offender Hidayet Ozden, 53, repeatedly punched Shahzad Shah at the Mirchi Indian takeaway in Mintlaw over a tandoori chicken query.

Ozden, of Falkirk, admitted culpable homicide after Mr Shah, 56, died in April.

Sentence was deferred at the High Court in Edinburgh and bail was continued.

The court heard the attack happened amid what was described as "simmering tension".

'Heart condition'

Ozden attacked father-of-three Mr Shah as the cook queried whether the spiced meat was to be on the bone or not, and told him they needed to call the customer.

Other workers managed to restrain Ozden before realising Mr Shah had started to go limp.

Ozden was originally charged with murder, but admitted culpable homicide.

The court heard Mr Shah was suffering from a serious undiagnosed heart condition at the time of the attack.

Advocate depute David Taylor said the men had worked together at various takeaways before moving to take up posts at the Mintlaw restaurant.

"They have been described by witnesses as being very friendly towards each other and great friends," said the prosecutor.

"However, there does also appear to have been a background of tension between the two in the time leading up to the events."

'Sad situation'

Mr Taylor said of the order dispute: "The accused said that it made no difference. The deceased, however, told the accused that they needed to contact the customer to check what the correct order was. The accused then stated 'what's your problem' and an argument began between the two men."

After the attack, efforts were made to summon help for the victim and Ozden also went to his aid, assisting with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC said Ozden was "very remorseful about what took place and very sorry for the death of his friend".

He told the court that Mr Shah's heart simply could not cope with what had occurred.

"It is a very sad situation," he added.

Mr Duguid said: "They had been friends for a number of years and the accused was instrumental in getting the deceased his job."

He said the argument had arisen between the friends "over something as insignificant as a food order".

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