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Two more Corporate Manslaughter cases

08/12/2013

Two more Corporate Manslaughter cases have recently been in the Courts, but there is still no clarity on how it will be applied to large organisations.

In the fourth case to brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, a Northern Ireland company has been fined following the death of Norman Porter  aged 47, in February 2012. It is thought that Mr Porter had either fallen or was dragged into an animal mixing machine, after his clothes got caught up. The firm, J Murray & Sons Ltd was fined £100,000 plus £10,000 costs.The machine had not been adequately guarded.

In the fifth case, a sports club admitted corporate manslaughter over the death of an 11-year-old girl who died when she was hit by a boat towing the inflatable she was riding. Mari-Simon Cronje died during a birthday celebration in September 2010 after she fell from the banana boat at the Princes Sporting Club in Bedfont, West London during a friend's birthday party. The level of supervision in the speedboat that should have spotted if anyone fell off the inflatable was not sufficient.The club was fined £134,579.69 following a guilty plea.

Both sentences are still well below the minimum advisory limit set by the Sentencing Council which indicated that fines should start at £500,000.

It is believed that the Crown Prosecution Service has another 50-70 cases pending.

Commenting on both cases, Rob Castledine, Director of Three Spires Safety says:

"There is no doubt that a more significant case will come before the Courts, where the safety practices of the organisation will be robustly examined. It will take a brave organisation to try to argue it's case and plead not guilty. It will be intersting to see whether any of these future cases will provide clarity on what constitutes a serious breach of a duty of care at a senior level."  

 

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