News 10th May 2019

Regulatory Crime Spring Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring issue of 2 Hare Court’s Criminal Regulatory Newsletter.

In this issue:

Nikita McNeill reviews the Sentencing Council’s impact assessment following the introduction of the Definitive Guideline on Health and Safety offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene offences.

Alex Tampakopoulos analyses the guidance from the Court of Appeal in respect of sentencing linked organisations: R-v-NPS London Ltd [2019] EWCA Crim 228.

The decision in R-v-Faltec Europe Ltd [2019] EWCA 520 is explored by Laura Stephenson and in particular the approach to assessing the risk of harm in health and safety offences.

Finally, Hannah Thomas reviews the Governemnt Consultation on Legal Aid for Familes at Inquests.

I hope you find this edition of interst and look forward to hearing your feedback which can be submitted here.

Jim Buchanan

The Sentencing Council’s impact assessment shows an increase in fines imposed on individuals and organisations of all sizes following the introduction the Definitive Guideline on Sentencing on Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety & Hygiene Offences

3 years after it came into force the sentencing Council has published a report assessing the impact of the introduction of the Definitive Guideline for sentencing Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety & Hygiene Offences.

Using data from the Ministry of Justices’ Court Proceedings Database, they have analysed sentences handed down in a sample period prior to the guidelines and a sample period following their implementation. The key findings for each category of offences are considered below…

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Guidance from the Court of Appeal in Sentencing Linked Organisations for Health & Safety Cases: R -v- NPS London Ltd [2019] EWCA Crim 228

Alexandra Tampakopoulos

Facts of the Case

On 25 July 2017, the NPS London was fined a sum of £370,000 after pleading guilty to an offence of failing to comply with its duty under s.3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

NPS London was a joint venture company, owned 80% by NPS Property Consultants Ltd (the NPS parent) and 20% by the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The role of NPS London was that of managing on behalf of the London Borough of Waltham Forest a project to refurbish a school. In that capacity, it was responsible for commissioning an asbestos survey carried out by Redhill Analysts. NPS London admitted that it failed to recognise the deficiency of the survey and consequently failed to take further reasonably practicable steps which it should have taken to ensure that all the asbestos which was present in the building was identified and safely removed before the refurbishment works took place. The failure to do this resulted in those who carried out works and others being exposed to dust containing asbestos with a consequent long-term risk to their health…

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Faltec Europe Ltd v Health and Safety Executive [2019] EWCA Crim 520

Laura Stephenson

Faltec is a car part manufacturer, employing around 550 people, and located in a well-populated urban area. On 3 April 2017 Faltec was sentenced in respect of three offences under ss.2, ss.3 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to a total fine of £1.6 million.

A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak gave rise to two offences, under ss.2 and ss.3. Between October 2014 and June 2015 there were two legionella outbreaks emanating from a dead leg, or length of capped off pipe, in a cooling tower. Four employees and one local resident contracted Legionnaires’ disease.  One victim was admitted to intensive care and put into an induced coma.

The third offence related to an explosion in a flocking machine, which injured an apprentice. The £800,000 fine for this was unchanged on appeal…

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Government Consultation on Legal Aid for Families at Inquests

Hannah Thomas


 The availability of legal aid for bereaved families in inquests is a hotly debated topic that has been the subject of many reviews[1]. This debate led to the Government conducting a review of the current position, which was published in February 2019. The full report can be accessed here.

To address concerns as to whether means testing should remain for all inquests, and that the legal aid system is impenetrable for families, the review covered three main areas:

  1. The initial stages of the inquest process;
  2. The legal aid application and its availability; and
  3. The inquest hearing itself.

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