News Criminal Regulatory 7th Apr 2022

James Buchanan defends director of roofing company

James Buchanan successfully defended the director of a roofing company, who was acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter today, following a four week trial at Brighton Crown Court, in front of Mr Justice Wall.


In July 2018, a subcontractor of Southern Asphalt Ltd sustained fatal injuries following a fall from a ladder whilst working on a construction site near the seafront in Hove, Brighton. At the time of the fall, he was climbing an unsecured ladder to the top of a second-storey building, whilst carrying roofing materials. 


Gross negligence manslaughter charges were brought against Southern Asphalt’s director and against the site manager. 


The company pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and no defence was put forward in respect of the individual health and safety charge against the director. 


The co-defendant and his company were found guilty on all charges at trial. Sentencing will take place in June. 


James Buchanan was instructed by Vikki Woodfine and Kate Kay of DWF Law LLP.

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