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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 15:17 GMT
'KFC bullies' have left company
Hannah Kirkham - picture courtesy of MEN Syndication
Hannah Kirkham suffered from severe depression
A group of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) workers who bullied a girl who later took a fatal drugs overdose have left the company, an inquest has heard.

KFC investigated the allegations made by Hannah Kirkham and, after her death, introduced anti-bullying policies.

The 18-year-old, of Baguley, Manchester was attacked and humiliated by some of her colleagues, the inquest was told.

Her mother Marie found her collapsed on her bedroom floor on 17 December 2003. She died in hospital nine days later.

Hannah's complaint was the subject of an investigation by a senior member of the human resources team
KFC letter

Rochdale Coroner Simon Nelson, sitting at Oldham Magistrates' Court, was told on Tuesday that Hannah was stabbed in the arm with corn sticks by her colleagues.

She was also shut in the freezer and called a "fat, spotty bitch".

Her grievance letter, sent to the district manager at KFC on 4 December, was opened more than three months after her death.

On Wednesday, the inquest jury heard a letter from KFC saying the company was "shocked" by Hannah's death and extended sympathies to her family.

'Thorough review'

"Hannah's complaint was the subject of an investigation by a senior member of the human resources team," the letter said.

"However, we believe it would be inappropriate to discuss further details of the investigation, but it should be noted that all of the employees who were named in Hannah's grievance letter have since left the employment of KFC.

"No doubt you will understand that for reasons of confidentiality we cannot provide further details of the circumstances in which they left KFC's employment."

KFC said it had carried out a "thorough review" of policies with help from Hannah's parents, which had ensured it now had a system to prevent bullying or sexual harassment.

"It (the company) has implemented an anonymous employee hotline to deal with employee's issues or concerns in a confidential and safe manner," the letter said.

The inquest continues.

KFC worker 'died after bullying'
06 Dec 05 |  Manchester

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