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PROSECUTION SENTENCING

Recent case and new guidelines suggest fines to rise

A recently concluded case resulted in a firm being fined £200k after a man was fatally crushed by a piece of lifting equipment. Solicitors Wragge & Co report that the fine imposed represented an estimate of projected profits for the current financial year that the judge intended to serve as a warning.

The judge is reported to have stated:  “….the substantial fine that I have imposed does represent what are estimated to be the net profits for this financial year so it can be seen by members of the public that this is a significant financial penalty which will, and is intended to, hurt the management and reputation of this company without causing damage to the job market and its employees in so far as that is possible.”

Wragge go on to suggest that coupled with the introduction of revised Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (pages 180-183) the comments by the judge have “once more brought into sharp focus the need for all companies to take environmental protection and health and safety seriously.”

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