|July 11, 2012|
Previously published on July 6, 2012
Over four years since the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force, Lion Steel Limited (Lion Steel) has become the third company in the UK to be convicted of corporate manslaughter after pleading guilty to the offence following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The company was charged after the death of an employee who suffered fatal injuries when he fell through a roof panel at Lion Steel's site in Cheshire in May 2008. In addition to the corporate manslaughter charge, the company was also charged under sections 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) for failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees. The company's directors were charged with gross negligence manslaughter and also for failing to ensure the health and safety of their employees under section 37 of the HSWA.
At the outset of the trial, on 12 June 2012, the corporate manslaughter charge against Lion Steel was set aside or ‘severed’ from the indictment. The Crown Prosecution Service announced that they intended this charge to be tried separately after the conclusion of the first case. Accordingly, the company was tried for the HSWA charges only and the company's directors for gross negligence manslaughter and the HSWA charges.
On 2 July 2012, the gross negligence manslaughter charges against the directors were dropped as were all remaining charges against the individuals and the HSWA charge against Lion Steel. The company then entered a guilty plea to the corporate manslaughter charge.
Lion Steel Ltd will be sentenced on 19 July 2012. A further update will be posted by Norton Rose then.