10 July, 2020
Craig MacKenzie and Rod Hall recently defended a prosecution brought by a Local Authority following the death of a 25 year old customer who fell from height after leaving a night club. Forbes represented the company and one of the directors.
The company was charged with offences contrary to the Health and Safety at Work act 1974.
The director was charged with an offence under s.37 HSWA - whereby it was alleged that the above offences occurred due to their neglect.
The prosecution alleged that the offences were causative of the young man's death. The way that the case was originally presented placed the starting point in terms of sentence, for the company, at a fine of between £54,000 and £160,000. For the individual, imprisonment of between 6 months and 1 year.
The case was robustly defended by the team who instructed senior counsel from Lincoln House Chambers. Following legal arguments and lengthy negotiations, the prosecution made significant concessions. Only then were guilty pleas entered.
The company was ultimately fined £14,000 and the Director avoided a custodial sentence. He was made subject to a Community Order which requires him to undertake unpaid work.
The Regulatory team at Forbes are extremely experienced in health and safety cases. The outcome in this case highlights the difference that a robust defence can make.