News Criminal Regulatory 10th Jun 2024

Appeal allowed in Health & Safety Case reducing fine by £800K for company represented by Alex Tampakopoulos

This case involved the prosecution of a leading national outdoor education provider who pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences following two serious incidents of finger entrapment involving children, against a background of numerous finger entrapment incidents across its adventure centres over a decade.

The appeal sought to reduce the fine of £1M imposed by a District Judge at first instance. The Respondents in the case argued that the organisation had been highly culpable, that there was high likelihood of level C harm, that there had been cost cutting at the expense of safety and a targeting of vulnerable victims in that customers were all children or young people. The turnover of the organisation was in excess of £50M.

Whilst it was agreed that culpability was high, Alex argued that the likelihood of harm was low, that there was no evidence of cost cutting and that the assertion that there had been targeting of vulnerable victims was without substance. The Appeal was upheld and accordingly the original fine of £1M was reduced by £800K and a new fine of £200K imposed concurrently in respect of all three offences.

Counsel was instructed and ably assisted by David Young and Sufia Saqib of Addleshaw Goddard.


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