Manchester Crown Court has seen the third trial in the UK of a company convicted of corporate manslaughter, following the death of an employee who fell through a roof.
Lion Steel Limited pleaded guilty to the charge in relation to the death of Steven Berry after he fell through a fragile roof in 2008.
The storage manufacturer’s Directors originally faced charges of gross negligence manslaughter and failing to ensure the health and safety of their employees under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (HSWA) 1974. The company also faced a charge under the Act.
However, when the trial began, the corporate manslaughter charge against Lion Steel was set aside or ‘severed’ from the indictment. The three directors were then tried on the gross negligence manslaughter and HSWA charges and the company was tried on the HSWA charge.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) proposed to prosecute the company on the corporate manslaughter charge in a separate trial once the first case was concluded.
However, the judge ordered that the gross negligence manslaughter charges against Richard Williams and Graham Coupe be dropped. The prosecution then dropped all remaining charges against the individuals and the HSWA charge against Lion Steel, and the company entered a guilty plea to the corporate manslaughter charge.
Lion Steel Ltd will be sentenced on 19 July and we will keep you posted of the outcome.
Lighthouse Comments: Can you imagine being involved with the charges in this situation? Could you afford financially or mentally to compete with these charges? One thing that gets overlooked by most companies is the lack of customers knocking the door after this type of occurrence. Don’t take the risk! Get competent advice now!