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CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER PROSECUTIONS UPDATE

CPS launches two Corporate Manslaughter prosecutions

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced that two organisations are to be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCH Act 2007) arising from two separate incidents

Mari-Simon Cronje aged 11 died during a birthday celebration at the Prince’s Sporting Club in Bedfont, Middlesex on 11 September 2010. She died after falling from a banana boat ride and being hit by the boat that had been towing it.

Elizabeth Joslin, Specialist Prosecutor in the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service said:

“I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police and the Hounslow Environmental Health Department during their investigation into the tragic death of Mari-Simon Cronje.

I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd with both corporate manslaughter and an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Section 3 requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.

Additionally, I have concluded that Glen Walker, a director of the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd, should also be charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The company and Glen Walker will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 19 February 2013.”

  •  MNS Mining Ltd – manager and company charged over oal mine deaths

Charles Breslin, Philip Hill, Garry Jenkins and David Powell all died in the Swansea Valley when the mine in which they were working was engulfed by an enormous inrush of water. It is estimated that in around three minutes, more than half a million gallons of water entered the section of the mine in which the men were working.

Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Head of Special Crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“The deaths of four miners at the Gleision coal mine in September 2011 devastated the local Welsh mining community.

The CPS has now carefully considered all the available evidence in this case, including detailed expert evidence. We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge mine manager Malcolm Fyfield with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Fyfield was employed as mine manager by MNS Mining Ltd and it is alleged that he caused the deaths of four miners by mining into old, flooded mine workings in breach of health and safety regulations. In doing so, the prosecution alleges he was grossly negligent.

MNS Mining Ltd has also been summonsed for four counts of corporate manslaughter. The prosecution allege that because of the way in which its activities were managed or organised by its senior management, namely Malcolm Fyfield, the company caused the deaths of the miners by failing to ensure a safe system of working was in place. It is alleged that this failure amounted to a gross breach of duty of care owed by the company to each of the four mine workers.

A representative of the company and Malcolm Fyfield will appear at Neath magistrates’ court on 1 February. The defendants now stand charged with criminal offences and have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial.”

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