School boy died from allergy when ‘cheese was secretly put into his sandwiches’
Karanbir Cheema, known as Karan, was a ‘bright sweet’ boy who enjoyed playing football and also attended karate classes.
But the 13-year-old, who had several allergies, was being bullied at school at William Perkin C of E High School, Greenford, west London, according to friends.
On the day of his death on June 28, cheese was allegedly placed into Karan’s lunch which he ate without knowing, family friend Humaira Khan said.
He later went to the school’s office where allergy medicine is kept but staff were unable to help and called an ambulance.
Karan sadly died in hospital less than two weeks later surrounded by his family.
A 13-year-old boy at the same school was arrested on the same day and interviewed in connection with the incident. He was bailed to return on a date in late July.
Humaira Khan, 40, said: ‘Karan was in primary school with my son and used to to go to football club and karate class with my son.
‘There was a child who was bullying him all the time. He put cheese in his lunch. When I spoke to one of his family members he said someone put cheese in his lunch and he did not know about it.‘
Karan had it and then had an allergic reaction. I went to see the family but they were not home, they are in such shock.
‘I know his mum because we saw each other at Perivale Primary School when she was dropping off his younger brother.
‘I cannot forget his face every time I close my eyes I see him, he was a really good boy, very good at maths and just a really sweet child.’
Parents dropping off their children outside William Perkin this morning said children were ‘devastated’ by Karan’s death.
One mum claimed one child had put cheese down Karan’s shirt.
She said: ‘I heard from a student that a boy came up and put a bit of cheese down his shirt. This bully is old enough to know right from wrong, you just cannot take these chances.’
But another parent claimed the boys were just playing before things ‘got out of hand’.
The mum, who refused to give her name, said: ‘They were playing. This is not bullying, they are just 13-year-old boys they were just playing.
‘I don’t know the details but from what I’ve heard from a student they were playing with food and it got out of hand.
‘My children say a piece of cheese sandwich was thrown and it hit him, they are playing.’v
Executive head teacher Dame Alice Hudson said Karan had a ‘number of allergies’ and staff tried to give him medication before the ambulance arrived.
Medication was kept in the school’s office but it was not successful in treating the reaction.
The head teacher said: ‘Staff at the school reacted promptly to provide medical intervention and were well supported by the London Ambulance Service who attended the scene.
‘The school has robust care plans in place for students with identified medical requirements and Karan’s care plan was promptly put in place.
‘But in light of this tragic incident a review of the procedures will be carried out to ensure that the highest level of standards is maintained.