Hitchin takeaway family which struggled in the wake of dreadful tragedy vow: This is a new start

China Kitchen, 130 Cambridge Road in Hitchin

China Kitchen, 130 Cambridge Road in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

The owner of a popular Hitchin takeaway has spoken movingly this week about her family’s ordeal in the wake of a tragedy.

China Kitchen, 130 Cambridge Road in Hitchin

China Kitchen, 130 Cambridge Road in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

“There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about the death of my son,” said Po Cheung of China Kitchen in Cambridge Road.

Her son Simon was killed just yards from the front door of the takeaway in January last year.

He was on a zebra crossing when he was hit by a car driven by a Luton woman later given a suspended jail sentence after admitting causing death by careless driving.

Mrs Cheung, 57, tearfully spoke about how she and her family struggled to cope with the tragedy – and how the business suffered as a result.

Simon, 32, was on his way to work when he died, and had been due to take over the managership of the takeaway.

On Friday the business admitted five breaches of food hygiene rules at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court and was fined £1,355. The charges related to a visit by council inspectors in June 2014 which saw China Kitchen’s previous three star hygiene rating downgraded to one star later in the year.

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Paul Angel, defending, said that the family had worked extremely hard to tackle the issue and added: “They deserve credit for the considerable steps they’ve taken after the terrible tragedy of losing their son.”

The family-run business received a four star rating after another inspection earlier this year.

Mrs Cheung, of Meadowbank, said: “Losing a child is the most dreadful thing. No mother expects to bury her son. Sitting at Simon’s hospital bedside we felt hopeless after the doctors said they was nothing more they could do. It was such a hard decision to end his suffering and switch off his life-support.

“We think about him every day. He was such a happy and positive person. We haven’t touched his room since he passed away.

“As a family it’s been awful. As a business we’ve suffered, too. He was such a hard-working, wonderful son, and we were so proud of him.

“We’ve been striving to improve – we now have a four star food hygiene rating.

“I thank all our loyal customers who stuck with us in difficult times and we’d encourage all in Hitchin to try us again.

“It’s a new start for us after such a terrible tragedy – I hope people will understand the circumstances behind what happened and realise we’ve had a ‘good’ rating since June.”

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