28 January, 2016
The Sentencing Council has issued new guidance for Health and Safety Offences and Corporate Manslaughter. The Guidelines will be effective from the 1 February 2016, regardless of the date of the offence.
The Sentencing Council hope that the new guidelines will ensure 'a consistent, fair and proportionate' approach to sentencing organisations and individuals convicted of corporate manslaughter or health and safety offences. Until now, there has been limited guidance for judges and magistrates in dealing with what can be complex and serious offences.
The sentencing ranges also take into account how culpable the offender was. This could range from minor failings in procedures to deliberately dangerous acts.
The introduction of the guidelines means that in some cases, offenders will receive higher penalties, particularly large organisations committing serious offences, for instance when an organisation is convicted of deliberately creating a high risk of death or serious injury.
While prison sentences are available for individuals convicted of very serious offences, most offences are committed by organisations and therefore fines are the only sentence that can be given.
For further information on this matter contact Sarah Wilkinson