A RESTAURATEUR accused of the manslaughter of a customer with a nut allergy has denied a string of offences at the start of his trial.

Khalique Mohammed Zaman nodded his head as he replied not guilty to nine charges at Teesside Crown Court ahead of a jury being sworn in for the case, which is expected to last two weeks.

Zaman, the owner Indian restaurants in Easingwold and York, is accused of the manslaughter of bar manager Paul Wilson, 38, of Helperby, near Thirsk, who died on January 30, 2014.

The manslaughter charge is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind.

He also denied contravening EU food safety regulations on January 3, 2014 and selling food not of the substance demanded on January 23 and 30.

Zaman pleaded not guilty to falsely describing food on a menu on January 23 that year, and contravening food safety regulations on January 23 and 30 by placing food described as nut-free on the market that was unsafe for nut allergy sufferers.

The 53-year-old also denied employing a man subject to immigration control on January 30 and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice on April 7 and April 30 last year.