CUSTOMERS of a restaurateur convicted of killing a nut allergy sufferer have spoken of their disgust after his son issued a "tasteless" apology while announcing a new dessert menu.

In an email headed 'Our Apology', Emraz Zaman firstly announced that Sunny Saturday lassi specials were available at the North Yorkshire restaurant where an allergy sufferer had a serious reaction to a supposedly peanut-free curry weeks before Paul Wilson died in 2014 from tasting a meal from its nearby takeaway.

The promotional email, sent on Tuesday, goes on to "sincerely apologise to all our loyal customers for the recent heavy press surrounding the Easingwold branch and the somewhat disappointing decision for our founding father Mr Zaman", just two weeks after he jailed for six years for gross negligence manslaughter.

It stated: "We are now in the process of launching a new dessert menu and have hired an exclusive pastry chef from London to design this.

"Our philosophy, started by our founder, [Mohammed] Khalique Zaman, was and still is to create real quality Indian cuisine of the highest standard."

During a two-week trial, Teesside Crown Court heard Zaman, from Huntington, York, who ran numerous restaurants in North Yorkshire and York, cut costs by using the cheaper groundnut mix powder instead of almond powder in his curries and ignored repeated warnings about the risks to his customers, despite having personal assets of up to £3m.

Emma Foster, who dined at the Easingwold Jaipur Spice restaurant every week for five years, until Mr Wilson, of Helperby, near Thirsk, died, said the email was "one of the most crass excuses for an apology" she had ever seen and was "not so much an apology as an immediate tout for business". She added the email suggested Zaman had been a victim of a miscarriage of justice and had been left aghast by the statement that the jury's decision had been disappointing for the restaurateur.

Mrs Foster said: "I am sure it was 'disappointing' for Mr and Mrs Wilson to hear of their son's agonising last moments as he desperately fought for breath on his bathroom floor.

"In the second paragraph of his email he then starts the advertising push that this apology is really all about. Nobody cares about the desserts in an Indian restaurant."

Hazel Gowland, of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, described the email as "shocking, horrible and insensitive".

She said: "It is a great concern that those working in Mr Zaman’s restaurants are so keen to play down the impact of his gross negligence which caused Mr Wilson’s death.

"If they want to continue serving food to the public, it is vital they demonstrate significant improvements in their food information and food safety management and a real commitment to preventing allergic reactions in the future."

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, who took his nut allergy sufferer son to the Easingwold restaurant numerous times, said the email appeared to "add insult to injury" and that it was time for the Zamans to hold their hands up.

He said: "It is a big worry when you go out to eat with an allergy sufferer. Generally, we have seen a huge improvement in the last three or four years.

"If we can make any sense of Paul Wilson's death it will be from raising awareness."

When approached by the York Press, Zaman's son, Emraz, a trainee solicitor, admitted the apology email had been inappropriate and also issued a heart-felt apology to Mr Wilson's parents from his family.

He said: "We know that no words can rectify what has happened. This has broken our hearts."

Emraz Zaman added the family's restaurants had left no stone unturned and had worked with food safety experts and authorities to overhaul their procedures since the tragedy and now clearly labelled allergens on their menus.