Restaurant manager beat chef to death after row over how to cook tandoori chicken

A restaurant manager killed a chef by repeatedly punching him after a row erupted at the Mirchi Indian Cuisine restaurant, Aberdeenshire, over a takeaway order for tandoori chicken, a court has heard.

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Victim, Shahzad Ali Shah, 56 | restaurentdeath1 
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Hidayet Ozden, 53, of Falkirk, Scotland, started to punch dad-of-three Shahzad Ali Shah, 56, after the chef asked whether the spiced meat was on the bone or not.

The savage attack was caught on camera at the restaurant and was shown to a judge.

On the day of the attack Ozden had taken a phone order which included Tandoori chicken but Mr Shah asked whether the meat was to be on the bone or not and told Ozden he needed to call the customer back.

This led to Ozden attacking Mr Shah by repeatedly punching him.

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

After the attack Ozden tried to help the victim by giving him mouth-to-moth resuscitation.

Mr Shah’s employer, Shahid Ali, revealed after the incident that Mr Shah had been looking forward to traveling back to Pakistan to visit and spend time with his 10-year-old twins.

He also said: “He wasn’t even supposed to be at work, he usually has Monday and Tuesday off.”

“I don’t know why he was in – perhaps just to help his friend – it’s as if fate drew him there. It’s been such a shock.”

Ozden was originally charged with murder but admitted culpable homicide after Mr Shah died in April.

Advocate depute David Taylor said: “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.”

The two men had known each other for a long time and had worked together at other restaurants and were described as ‘great friends’.

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

“They had been friends for a number of years and the accused was instrumental in getting the deceased his job.”

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

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