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KFC defends itself over ex-worker's death

08 December 2005

Fast-food giant KFC today attempted to defend itself over the death of a teenage employee who committed suicide as a result of bullying at one of its stores.

An inquest ruled earlier this week that the suicide of former KFC employee, Hannah Kirkham, was influenced by abuse dished out by fellow colleagues at the KFC store in Manchester.

The inquest heard via the dead girl's diary how she started working weekends at the KFC's Northenden store in 2001, aged 18. She was subsequently subjected to two years of physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Kirkham filed a grievance with branch managers when she left her job six months before her death from an overdose on Boxing Day 2003.

In a statement the company described Kirkham's death as a tragedy and said none of the implicated members of staff now worked for the company.

KFC said: "We have since worked with Hannah's parents and the Andrea Adams Trust, which is an independent charity committed to tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace. With their help we have strengthened our internal processes and also set up a confidential employee hotline."

By Chris Druce

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