Corporate manslaughter conviction - end of the road

Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Limited was convicted earlier this year of corporate manslaughter, the first company to be convicted under the legislation introduced in 2008. 

The company sought to appeal both its conviction and sentence but the Court of Appeal has refused to hear the matter. No appeal can progress without the Court of Appeal giving permission for this to happen. The Court of Appeal Judges therefore have clearly been satisfied that the Judge`s handling of the case, and in particular his directions to the Jury, were beyond criticism and that the fine also was imposed at an appropriate level. The fine of £385,000 therefore stands. 

There can be little doubt from this development that the Court of Appeal is, in effect, saying that the fine was appropriate and it must follow by way of comparison that larger organisations if found guilty of this offence will probably find themselves on the end of significantly greater fines which will be measured in the millions rather than the thousands. 

Posted on: 19/05/2011

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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