News Criminal Regulatory 23rd May 2023

Paul Renteurs acts for leading North East construction company in health and safety prosecution

Paul Renteurs represented North East construction company Tolent Construction Limited (TCL) in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The case concerned an incident at a building site operated by TCL in the Jesmond area of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in which a structural insulating panel became detached from a crane operated by TCL, causing serious injuries to one of its employees.

In May 2021 TCL pleaded guilty to a charge brought under section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The sentencing of TCL was adjourned pending the trial of its co-defendant – Clad Build UK Limited (CBUK) – the subcontractors responsible for installing the structural insulating panels on site. Subsequently, CBUK entered a guilty plea to the same offence on a written basis.

Shortly prior to sentencing, TCL went into voluntary administration. Paul made oral submissions and further written submissions, referring to sentencing remarks in the Buncefield Oil Depot case, and R v Rashid, Kuddus and RS Takeaway Limited, inviting the Court to impose a nominal fine in light of TCL’s financial position. The learned Recorder considered ordering TCL to pay a fine of £1m, and leaving them to apply to the Magistrates’ Court to remit the fine if the administration, still in its early stages, proved an insurmountable obstacle to payment of the fine. Ultimately, however, the learned Recorder was persuaded to impose a nominal fine of £1,000 and made an order to pay prosecution costs in the sum of £8,468.50.


Paul was instructed by Bob Davies of Clyde & Co.

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