First corporate manslaughter charge

The first prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 will begin on 17 June, at Stroud Magistrates Court, against Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd.

The case concerns the death of Alexander Wright on 5 September 2008. Mr Wright, who was employed by Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings as a junior geologist, was taking soil samples from inside a pit which had been excavated as part of a site survey when the sides of the pit collapsed crushing him.
Peter Eaton, a director of the company has been charged with gross negligence manslaughter and with an offence contrary to Section 37, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd has also been charged with failing to discharge a duty contrary to Section 33, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Kate Leonard, the reviewing lawyer at the CPS Special Crime Division, explained: “Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, an organisation is guilty of corporate manslaughter if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a death and amounts to a gross breach of a duty of care to the person who died. A substantial part of the breach must have been in the way activities were organised by senior management. I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for this offence.”

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 11:34