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Barrister - bernard thorogood

Senior Practice Manager
Andrew Trotter

Practice Group Clerks
Christopher Norman

Chief Executive and Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]

Bernard Thorogood - Regulatory & Licensing

Bernard Thorogood practises (advice, defence and prosecution) in the most serious categories of Health and Safety and other Regulatory cases of gravity and complexity (see selected cases below). He has specialised in such cases for many years. 

He is always involved in a very substantial number of fatal cases, including Corporate Manslaughter work, usually instructed from well before the Inquest or possible prosecution. He represents and advises both individuals and organisations, large and small, including major businesses, NHS Trusts, Fire and Rescue Services and many other public bodies, in Regulatory matters concerning their present and future practice. He advises in respect of potential gross negligence manslaughter charges arising from a range of activities, including the work of major businesses, public bodies, rail travel, construction, leisure, and overseas events. He has advised, prosecuted and defended in many manslaughter cases arising from health and safety backgrounds, as well as many fatal Regulatory cases. Advises in respect of Corporate Manslaughter under the modern legislation, as well as common law.

Work includes all aspects of health and social care, manufacturing, construction including adequacy of materials/systems e.g. road surface/construction, local government, transport, pressure vessels, logistics, permits to work, asbestos, confined spaces, farming accidents, cases of “domestic” and commercial fatal gassing, Chief Constables accused of Health and Safety offences, a widespread release of toxic gas affecting scores of people, a poorly controlled chemical process in a nuclear facility, a “safety sensitive” Government agency and a national body  devoted to certifying safety.  Extensive Fire Safety expertise in cases, advice and training across the country.  Environmental - water and land. Food Standards. Animal Welfare. Extensive experience of mining cases, including falls of ground, ventilation and operation of heavy equipment.

Acts frequently for and against Local Authorities.

A particular interest in, and very good record for, the recovery of costs.

His trademarks include thorough attention to detail and getting to grips with complex and technical evidence. Works throughout the country. Travels to client’s workplace, particularly in order to get to grips with the finer details of such processes, technicalities or environments, as might be relevant to the case in hand.

His previous work with Directors and Companies, in relation to financial and Company law, facilitates additional insight into the workings of large organisations. His year on a production shop floor in industry helps keep focus on the reality of the workplace. His work in personal injury and heavy criminal cases, before specialising in Regulatory work, informs and assists strategic and tactical planning.

He has appeared for/advised many prominent national organisations/businesses, including several national construction Companies, Shell UK, British Sugar, Barclays Bank, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Scottish and Southern Power, Four Seasons Healthcare, Boots PLC, G4S, The Building Research Establishment, Several Fire and Rescue Services, many National Health Service Trusts, Dunlop, Smurfitt Kappa UK, Railcare Limited, Independent Television News, Aggregate Industries (UK) Limited, N.D.A. (formely NIREX), Sandvik, Lifeways, Aston University, Noble Foods Limited, Kuehne and Nagle Limited, Cemex.  Has also been involved with very many like businesses for the Regulators.

MEMBERSHIPS

Member of Health and Safety Lawyers Association, Forensic Science Society, Agricultural Law Association, Criminal Bar Association.

HSE Specialist Panel of Advocates – List ‘A’.

SELECTED CASES OF INTEREST

R (HSE) v Martin Baker Aircraft Limited
Current – Due for trial January 2018 – case arises from the investigation into the failure of the main parachute to deploy following ejection. Tragically a Red Arrows pilot lost his life as a result.

R (Cotswold District Council) v Head 4 Heights Limited
Current – trial June 2017 – Gloucester Crown Court – Prosecution – a fall of over 30 feet by a 10 year old child on a high ropes attraction – systems for controlling high hazard attractions considered.

R(HSE) v Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust
Current – Shrewsbury Crown Court - Prosecution – case features 5 fatalities and an alleged long term failure to address falling risks in a hospital environment – guilty pleas entered – sentence awaited, after service of expert material.

R (Surrey FARS) v Firstport Retirement Property Services Limited
Concluded April 2017 – Guildford Crown Court – Prosecution – care home fire resulting in fatality (elderly vulnerable victim – dementia) – substantial case to build and shape – causation of death accepted by defendant – complex and linked fire safety failings. Very substantial fines for range of offences and £100,000 costs recovery.

R (on the prosecution of Leicester County Council) v Wilko Retail Limited (formally Wilkinsons Hardware Limited)
January 2017 – Leicester Crown Court – Prosecution - health and safety breaches which resulted in catastrophic injuries for a young part-time employee. Full costs recovery.

R (Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority) v Brookholme Croft Ltd
Concluded December 2016 - Derby Crown Court – Prosecution - following a fire at care home an elderly resident died. Breaches included inadequate risk assessment and failure to properly consider compartment size and evacuation times. Substantial fine and good costs recovery.

R v Hewitt
Concluded in October 2016 after trial February-May 2016 – Defence – substantial trial concerning proper management of challenging behaviour in context of residential care. Acting for Company Chairman, acquitted of most serious charge. Massive complexity. Sentenced for very much less serious (secondary) participation in Health and Safety offence in October 2016.

R (HSE) v Merlin Attractions Operations Limited
Concluded September 2016 – Prosecution – the “Alton Towers” rollercoaster collision. Complex engineering to master and similar issues arising in connection with the application of the 2016 Definitive Guidelines to the facts of the case. National publicity consequent upon a record fine (£5m) in the leisure industry. Full costs recovery.

R (Mansfield District Council) v Embrace All Limited and Dean
Concluded September 2016 – Prosecution – (fatal) care home case concerning stairway/exit door risks. At the start of 3-4 week trial the defendants, having heard the case opened, pleaded guilty. Substantial issues concerning the economic realities of the corporate defendant’s business explored by prosecution, with assistance from forensic accountant. The Court found that there was a supportive group and fine of £1.5m imposed, with recovery of £220k costs, despite turnover in the region of £12m and significant trading losses. Widespread publicity consequent upon the Court’s approach to the financial position.

R (Newport City Council) v Birmingham Garage & Industrial Doors Limited
September 2016 – Cardiff Crown Court – Defence – (fatal) case against client based on alleged inadequacy of its engineering works – prosecution persuaded (defendant’s expert evidence and detailed defence representations) to offer no evidence at second PTPH. Acquitted on all charges. Costs order secured.

R (HSE) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police
January 2016 – Birmingham Crown Court – Defence – counter-terrorism firearms officer had part of his trigger finger cut off when operating a shear used to destroy seized weaponry – Court “substantially reduces fine” having regard to public funding.

R (HSE) v NHSLA (standing in place of Hampshire Primary Care Trust and the Portsmouth City Teaching Hospitals Primary Care Trust)
January 2016 – Portsmouth Crown Court – Defence – acting for 2 dissolved Primary Care Trusts, their criminal liability for fatal health and safety breaches having been transferred by order to the National Health Service Litigation Authority. Substantial arguments as to culpability and liability to pay prosecution costs resulted in a much reduced fine and payment of costs. The Judge (a member of the Sentencing Council) indicated that the penalty would have been the same, had she applied the new Definitive Guideline.

R (HSE) v Shropshire Council
January 2016 – Shrewsbury Crown Court – Defence – fatal choking incident involving vulnerable service-user in day centre – prosecution accepted non-causative basis to guilty plea, much reduced fine/costs secured. Very close examination of complex financial evidence.

R (HSE) v Cemex UK Operation Limited 
December 2015 – Warwickshire Crown Court – Defence – fatal case - Court persuaded that new Definitive Guidelines could not be considered before due date – satisfactory resolution to case.

R (HSE) v Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust
December 2015 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution – case concerned 4 fatalities spread over 8 years - attracted national coverage for obvious reasons. Case of considerable complexity and national importance.

Inquest – October 2015
Acting for Local Authority in whose care a vulnerable service-user was when, unnoticed to his immediate one to one carer, he drowned in open water. Careful work required to ensure jury understood that the Council had done a good job managing the deceased’s care, and was not at fault in this matter.

R (HSE) v NHSLA (standing in place of The Blackpool Primary Care Trust and the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust)
September 2015 – Preston Crown Court – Defence - unusual situation, acting for 2 dissolved Primary Care Trusts, their criminal liability for fatal health and safety breaches having been transferred by order to the National Health Service Litigation Authority. Causative link to breaches. Substantial arguments as to culpability and liability to pay prosecution costs resulted in a much reduced fine and payment of costs.

R v Tucker and Others
July – August 2015 – Truro Crown Court – Defence - substantial and complex manslaughter/health and safety trial over several weeks, with significant issues between all defendants and Mr Tucker. Mr Tucker was the only individual not to go to immediate custody. Much hard work required to demonstrate the difficult situation into which the defendant had been placed.

R (HSE) v John Pointon and Sons Limited
June 2015 – Stafford Crown Court – prosecution – second fatality on same production line – confined space/complex engineering at heart of case. Full costs recovery.

R (Cotswold District Council) v WM Active Limited
March 2015 – Gloucester Crown Court – Prosecution – concerning poor management of safety at a bathing facility in the Cotswold Water Park, directly connected to death of a 15 year old girl. Very significant costs recovery, though defendant dormant and not now trading. Careful consideration of significance of corporate structure and relationships required, including forensic accounting report, to secure costs. Causation had been denied but demonstrated to be made out in the evidence.

R(HSE) v Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services Limited and Enterprise AOL [2014] EWCA Crim 2684October 2012 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution – fatal case arising from unsafe traffic management – convictions secured following 2 week trial. Total fines imposed £450,000 – costs awarded £200,000. Defence appeal to Court of Appeal (conviction and sentence) dismissed – December 2014. Court of Appeal clarified the meaning of “material risk”.           

R (Natural England) v Day [2014] EWCA Crim 2683
Concluded in July 2013 – Carlisle Crown Court – devastation to highly sensitive SSSI – several substantial hearings concerning legal interpretation of crucial concepts/powers – basis of plea – extent of culpability/sentence. Fine £450,000. Full costs (£457,000) recovered. Appeal (conviction and sentence) dismissed in December 2014 – application to Supreme Court successfully resisted.

R (HSE) v Cemex Materials Limited
December 2014 – Defence - Newcastle Crown Court – successful arguments during 2 day contest in which Court accepted BT’s submissions to the effect that there was no causative link between breach and death. Very much reduced fine and costs as a result.

Toon V HSE
May – October 2014 ­– Leicester Employment Tribunal – Defence – Acting for farmer –  walkers suffered injuries from cattle in 2 of his fields, on the same day - ­one fatal. Prohibition Notice, Expert evidence and negotiation led to acceptable commercial resolution.  No charges.

R (Stockport MBC) v Independent Options Limited
September 2014 – Defence – concerning care planning and eating arrangements – fatal case – choking - service-user with severe learning problems given foods which were apparently prohibited in care plan. Dealt with in Magistrates – low fine and prosecution costs much reduced.

R (HSE) v British Sugar PLC
April 2014 – Shrewsbury/Birmingham Crown Court – Defence – case launched 5 years after the Inquest – and 10 years after the fatal accident – application to stay the case as an abuse – Prosecution decided to offer no further evidence on the second day. Acquitted of all counts.

R (HSE) v Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust
April 2014 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution – concerning poor management of patients’ needs, leading to loss of life. The first criminal case to emerge from the year-long Francis Inquiry into the Trust.

R (Luton Borough Council) v Barclays Bank Plc
April 2014 – Defence – bank employee caught in fireball – case kept in Magistrates’ Court – moderate penalty.

R (South Kesteven District Council) v Orders of St John Care Trust
January 2014 – Lincoln Crown Court – Prosecution – death of elderly lady from pneumonia – she was found outside a Care Home in the early hours during winter. Consideration of Court’s approach when defendant is a non-dividend Company, using all profits to improve care services. Extensive examination of defendant’s finances – consideration of accounting analysis.

R (Flintshire C.C.) v Plas Goch Limited
December 2013 – Mold Crown Court – Defence – fatal case involving young child in swimming pool - disputes as to factual basis for sentence all resolved in defendant’s favour, including causation of death. Low fine imposed.

R (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service) v Dickinson
December 2013 – Chester Crown Court – fire at Care Home – 6xBA rescues of vulnerable residents – following guilty plea on day fixed originally for trial, suspended custody imposed and full costs recovery.

R (South Staffordshire District Council) v Abele View Limited
November 2013 – Stafford – Prosecution - death of lady in her nineties – left outside Care Home unattended on January night – early guilty plea secured – complex questions of how to deal with a defendant from which assets have been moved.

R (HMMI) v UK Coal Mining Limited
October 2013 – Leeds Crown Court – Prosecution – multiple explosions, over several days, in deep coal mine. Case concerned management of fire risk and detonation risk underground. Complex questions of how to deal with defendant empty of assets.

R (Christchurch B.C.) v Barclays Bank Plc
October 2013 – Portsmouth - Defence – fall from height leading to significant injury. Successfully kept to Magistrates’ disposal.

R (Cheshire East B.C.) v Kirkham
September 2013 – Chester Crown Court – Prosecution – appeal concerning extent of culpability/penalty in relation to measures intended to contain the spread of Bovine TB. Case of some significance, featuring complex expert evidence. Appellant abandoned following receipt of Case Summary and NAE.

R (HSE) v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
July 2013 – Southend Crown Court – Defence – death of vulnerable patient through insufficiently secure window – despite revenues of over £200m, fine kept down to £15,000.

R v Howarth
May 2013 – Manchester Crown Court – Defence – trial of a reversing fatality during delivery – acquitted by jury – costs order obtained.

R(HSE) v Atomic Weapons Establishment
May 2013 - Reading Crown Court – Prosecution – fire in explosives building at sensitive public establishment – guilty plea secured – full costs recovery, complex issues of ignition and likelihood of detonation.

R(HSE) v Direct Plant Services Limited
April 2013 – Swindon Crown Court – Prosecution – Fatal case – questions of how to sentence impecunious defendant dealt with (following detailed argument) as Mr Thorogood submitted.  Full costs recovery (via defendant’s insurance policy).  The fatality occurred on the public highway and in connection with the operation of equipment attached to a tractor.

R(HMMI) v UK Coal Mining Limited
April 2013 – Nottingham Crown Court – Prosecution – fatal case – question of how to deal with impecunious defendant dealt with (following argument) as Mr Thorogood submitted. Detailed consideration of financial situation.  

R v Westwood
August to December 2012 – Derby Crown Court – Defence – employee (at work) of national employer (deliveries) accused of causing death by careless driving. Careful research and structured written submissions persuaded CPS to offer no evidence before trial reached. Full costs recovered.

R(HSE) v Mark Wakefield Demolition Limited
September 2012 – Manchester Crown Court – Defence – defendant’s staff cut 6” gas main and blew up major development site (former hospital) – 2 week trial – defendant acquitted, with full costs recovery.

R (HMMI) v UK Coal Mining Limited and Joy Mining Limited
July 2012 – Leeds Crown Court – Prosecution – Further fatal case arising from deep coal mining – case also featured an (unusual) charge contrary to s6 HSWA – case revolved around engineering issues – recovery of costs in excess of £300,000.

R (HSE) v Bassetlaw District Council
July 2012 – Derby Crown Court – Defence – fatal (reversing) case – refuse lorry – member of public on mobility scooter – low fine achieved, though SGC Guideline engaged.

R (HSE and Central Bedfordshire Council) v Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chelvanayagam Menna [2013] EWCA Crim 26
April-June 2012 – Luton Crown Court – Prosecution – following killing of a care worker at a Care Home by new resident – NHS Trust prosecuted (by HSE) and Care Home (by Local Authority) – both for inadequate risk assessment and General Duty charges – the new resident was not suitable for the Home. Case of great complexity and difficulty. Jury out 3.5 days – convictions returned on all counts. Case of significance for national practice. Full costs (over £660,000) recovered.

R (HSE) v Three Shires Limited
March 2012 – Preston Crown Court – Defence – most unusual facts – non-causative basis secured (fatal case) – strong mitigation reduced fine to £15,000.

R (HSE) v Fishers Engineering Limited
February 2012 – Central Criminal Court – Defence – non-causative basis secured – resulting in much reduced fine (fatal case).

R (Wellingborough Borough Council) v Kuehne and Nagle Limited
January 2012 – Northampton Crown Court – Defence - dispute concerning extent of culpability resolved robustly in defendant’s favour, assisted by targeted expert evidence, resulting in much reduced sentence.

R (HMMI) v UK Coal Mining Limited
Sheffield Crown Court – December 2011 – Prosecution - Guilty pleas in respect of 4 deaths (separate cases) in separate incidents in deep coal mines – covering – inter alia – issues of ventilation and heavy engineering practice – Mines rescue Service deployed. Sentence December 2011 – total penalty £1.2m, including £750,000 costs.

R (Natural England) v York Sports Limited and another
February and September 2011 – York Crown Court – successful prosecution of those running pheasant shoot for overstocking/damaging SSSI.  Massive body of expert evidence to master when presenting the case and dealing with defence case. Newton hearing lasted 5 days.  Very substantial costs recovery.

R (HSE) v London Concrete Limited
July 2011 – Aylesbury – Committed to Crown for sentence – Defence - grave injury – secured penalty within the Magistrates’ Court limit despite committal and despite fact that the Defendant was in very substantial way of business. 

R (HSE) v BUPA (CFH) Limited
June 2011 - Wolverhampton – fatal case involving slip from sling when moving vulnerable person in care environment.  Full costs recovery.

R (HSE) v Bryn Thomas Cranes Limited
April 2011 – Liverpool – fatal crane toppling, but financial arguments produced nominal fine - £3,000. 

R (HSE) v BUPA (BNH) Limited
January 2011 - Birmingham Crown Court – fatality in Care Home – abuse of process and other legal applications successfully resisted.  Resolved on day of trial to both side’s satisfaction.  Full costs recovery.

R (HSE) v Asda UK
January 2011 – Preston Crown Court – Prosecution – case resolved to both side’s satisfaction, following successful opposition to application to stay the case as an abuse of process. 

R (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service) v Ashley [2011] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 28; [2010] EWCA Crim 3057
December 2010 – Court of Appeal - full costs order below upheld – prosecution under the 2005 Fire Safety Order – unsafe market premises – Chester Crown Court at first instance.

R (HSE) v Arkinstall Limited  
November 2010 – Wolverhampton Crown Court – Defence - fatal section 2 case – sentence £1000 fine – development of a principle in the Buncefield sentence – concerning impecuniosity.

R(HSE) v Walkers Snackfoods Limited and another
September 2010 – Leicester Crown Court – Prosecution - fatality arising from chlorine gas released by wrongly mixed chemicals.  Full costs recovery.

R (HSE) v (An Educational Charity)
August 2010 – Shrewsbury Crown Court – Defence - Fatal s.3 – penalty adjusted to be commensurate with Charitable status and fixed means – low fine – prosecution costs much reduced.

R(HSE) v Corus UK
April 2010 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution - Fatal s.3 – substantial questions of contractor control.  Guilty plea entered.  Substantial costs recovery.

R(HSE) v Shell UK
January 2010 – Chester Crown Court – Defence - questions of contractor control and safe lifting operations.

R (HSE) v Leek
October 2009 – Wolverhampton Crown Court – successful defence in trial of lifeguard on duty when disabled pool user died, unnoticed, in the deep end.  Full costs recovery.

R (RSPCA) v Fletcher
April 2009 – successful defence of farmer facing allegation relating to animal health.  Issues of abuse of process (no longer possible to test scientific evidence – samples destroyed) – no evidence offered.  Full costs recovery.

R v Orrow and others
February – March 2009 – Central Criminal Court – Defence – trial – gross negligence workplace manslaughter allegation – representing Production Director – verdicts of not-guilty entered very early in the prosecution case - engineering issues at heart of the case.  Disclosure strategy of significance in securing the acquittals. Full costs recovery (see costs appeal reports).

R (HSE) v M and J Drilling Limited
February 2009 – Wolverhampton Crown Court - Defence – strata stabilisation drilling linked by HSE to release of CO and fatalities - offence established, by expert evidence, submissions and negotiation, as unconnected to the double fatality which instigated investigation and prosecution – limited plea produced fine of £3,500.

R (North West Leicestershire District Council) v TDG (UK) Limited [2009] 2 Cr.App.R.(S.) 81; [2008] EWCA Crim 1963  
Court of Appeal – (prosecution) – Defence appeal against sentence – poor transport management. Significance of breaches by other duty holder.  Substantial costs recovery.

R (HSE) v F. J. Chalcroft Limited [2008] 2 Cr.App.R.(S.); [2008] EWCA Crim 770
Court of Appeal – Prosecution – defence appeal against sentence following substantial Newton Hearing. Fatal fall from height. Appropriate bracket for single death workplace prosecution discussed.  Full costs recovery.

R v J. P. Pointon and Sons Limited [2008] 2 Cr.App.R.(S.) 82; [2008] EWCA Crim 513
Court of Appeal – Prosecution – defence appeal against sentence - engineering/confined space working at heart of case - discussion of appropriate bracket for single death workplace prosecution.

R (HSE) v Clifton Steel [2008] 1 Cr.App.R.(S.) 52; [2007] EWCA Crim 1537
Workplace fatality following the partial collapse of a steel coil stack. Effect of limited means on fine.  Adequacy of engineering solutions examined.  Examination of existing guidelines.

R v Davies (W.)  [2006] EWCA Crim 3012
2005 – Birmingham Crown Court - Prosecution - Gross Negligence workplace manslaughter – a construction site event – adequacy and detailed functioning of plant and equipment of heart of case – conviction upheld in Court of Appeal, where the issue was - to what extent employees’ alleged conduct took employees outside of scope of employment.  Very detailed engineering evidence examined.

Selection of cases involving fatalities in which Mr. Thorogood acted for the Defendant and which were dealt with in Magistrates’ Courts and / or fines in the Crown Court were set below, or close to, the then Magistrates’ limits are:

R (HSE) v NHSLA [September 2015]

R (Stockport MBC) v Independent Options Limited [September 2014]

R (Flintshire C.C.) v Plas Goch Limited (December 2013)

R (H.S.E.) v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [July 2013]

R (H.S.E.) v Cleggs Food Projects Limited [August 2012]

R (H.S.E.) v Bassetlaw District Council [July 2012]

R (H.S.E) v Three Shires Limited [March 2012]

R (H.S.E.) v Fisher Engineering [February 2012]

R (H.S.E.) v Bryn Thomas Cranes Limited [April 2011]

R (H.S.E.) v Arkinstall Limited [November 2010]

R (H.S.E.) v South Birmingham Primary Care Trust [December 2008]

R (Birmingham City Council) v Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust [June 2008]

R (Army Legal Services) v P and others
General Court Martial arising from events in Iraq – Defence -  September 2006/ February 2007 – case revolved around alleged negligence – huge body of evidence to consider – substantial half-time arguments – client acquitted.

R (HSE) v Scottish and Southern Energy PLC
Defence – Bristol Crown Court – trial - 7 weeks March - April 2006 – Defence - complex facts – fatal health and safety case - substantial half time arguments – no case to answer.  Full costs recovery.

R (HSE) v Fresha Bakeries and others[2003] 1 Cr.App.R.(S.) 44.
Prosecution - Leicester Crown Court (2001) and Court of Appeal (2002). This was a prosecution involving a double fatality. The case featured prosecutions against Company directors as well as the Companies themselves. The appeal established an important principle concerning the Company’s financial liability for costs run up by directors etc. in conducting their own defences.  Substantial costs recovery.

R v. Davies (D.) [2002] EWCA Crim 2949; [2003] I.R.L.R. 170; [2003] 147 S.J.L.B. 29.
Prosecution - Swansea Crown Court (2001) and Court of Appeal (2002). The conviction was appealed and became a leading authority confirming the reverse (legal) burden of proof in cases under HSWA.

R (HSE) v United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and another
Oxford Crown Court (2002) - Prosecution - A complicated matter featuring uncontrolled electrolysis in tenant’s premises on a nuclear site – leading on the prosecution case to the formation of a vibration-sensitive high explosive.    The Army Officers who neutralised the explosive were awarded the George Medal.

R (HSE) v Cardiff City Transport Services [2001] 1 Cr.App.R.(S.) 41
In the Crown Court Mr. Thorogood acted for the defendant Company in a “Section 2” Health and Safety prosecution, negotiating a basis of plea which established no causal link between offence and fatality.  The appeal in this case (which succeeded) related to the financial penalty imposed at first instance.

INQUEST EXAMPLES

South Wales Coroner’s Court – February 2017 Acting for the School - death of student at school – complex history to master – relationship between Local Authority and its School to be navigated with care. Case highlighted significant design issues and need for stakeholders to be more involved throughout design and construction, so that school transport arrangements were fit for purpose.

North Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court – February 2017 – Acting for St John Ambulance – drug related death at a large music festival – very complex issues involving competing expert analyses – very substantial factual and legal issues to address – conclusions supported St John Ambulance position. 

Cannock Coroner's Court - April 2016 - Acting for the family after their student daughter appeared to have taken her own life - substantial and important disclosure obtained – of considerable significance at Inquest. Sensitive nature given the circumstances and associated possible criminal proceedings. Subsequent criminal proceedings were launched concerning the individual against whom the deceased had made a complaint, but these were dropped close to trial.

Nottingham Coroner’s Court – October 2015 – representing Local Authority in case concerning death of a vulnerable service-user whilst receiving one to one care. Court shown that the Council’s work was good and did not contribute to the death.

Bedfordshire Coroner’s Court – February 2015 – Representing NHSLA on behalf of now dissolved Primary Care Trust – fatal fall from window by confused elderly patient. Following representations, Regulator decided not to charge, though earlier indications were to the contrary.

Cornwall Coroner’s Court – January 2015 – Representing a school after pupil’s death following overdose of prescription drugs. Coroner expressly found the school had given the pupil exemplary support.

Hillsborough Disaster Inquest – Represented Fire and Rescue Service.

Gloucester Inquest – February 2014 – Counsel to Inquest in sensitive case (prisoner took own life in custody).

Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court – January 2014 – Death of a Red Arrows pilot following operation of the ejector seat whilst still on the runway.

Warwickshire Coroner’s Court – May 2013 - For a leading cement manufacturer following the death of a sub-contractor working on its site – substantial and important disclosure obtained – of significance to verdict.

North Yorkshire Coroner’s Court – April 2013 - Case of death following a roof collapse in a deep coal mine – complex issues of geology and strata stabilisation.

Gloucester Coroner’s Court – February 2013 - For a road surfacing contractor following a death on a road it had recently laid. Highly technical materials evidence considered. Following representations, no charges followed Inquest. No subsequent enforcement action taken against client.

Gloucester Coroner’s Court – December 2012 - Representing a County Fire and Rescue Service throughout several days of Inquest with a view to demonstrating that the failures associated with a fire suppression system cylinder were not those of the Fire and Rescue Service. No subsequent enforcement action taken against client.

West Yorkshire Coroner’s Court – November 2012 – death underground in National Coal Mining Museum – jury found risk assessment/method statement were part of the problem.

Southend Coroner’s Court – September 2012 – fall from hospital window – acting for NHS Trust. Examination of layers of regulation as applicable in healthcare sector.

Gloucester Coroner’s Court – April 2012 – acting for Local Authority in case of death of young girl by drowning.  Examination of lifeguard’s role and role of facility operator. Findings of importance to subsequent resolution of prosecution.

Lincoln Coroner’s Court – December 2011 – acting for national employer - careful examination of lighting levels and adequacy of working platform.  Open verdict secured.  As a result of matters developed in evidence, there was no prosecution.

Essex Coroner’s Court – November 2011 – multi-handed inquiry into complex lifting operation.  Contractor control examined.  As a result of matters developed in evidence, there was no prosecution of Mr Thorogood’s client, though others were.

Stourport Coroner’s Court – November 2011 – acting for farmers - case requiring substantial and searching questioning to demonstrate client was not responsible for the accident which lead to death (fall from height during construction of new farm building).  As a result of matters developed in evidence, clients not prosecuted – the roofer (who had tried to blame the farmers) was.

Cumbria Coroner’s Court – June 2011 – Representing ecological ground workers who were utilising CE marked Italian equipment, which fragmented in use and killed a member of the workforce.  Exploration of significance of CE marking.  Successfully resisted argument for unlawful killing verdict. Finding of importance to successful resolution of subsequent prosecution.

Birmingham Coroner’s Court – December 2010 – representing organisation which specialises in looking after homeless middle aged men with various problems.  Death from scalding – issues of hot water management.

Derby Coroner’s Court – November 2010 – representing farmer driving farm vehicle, who had not seen his young grandson until too late.  Ruling that he was unfit to give evidence. Case resolved, most unusually, by caution immediately after the Inquest concluded.

Manchester Coroner’s Court – November 2009 –   evidence from Interested Party’s own expert of great influence in enquiry – intense and complex examination arising from failure of temporary (steel) works during very substantial structural steel works, effectively installing bridge.  The Interested Party’s own expert was adopted by the Coroner and called to give evidence.  Role of Structural Engineer.  Role of CDM.  Significance of Temporary Works.  Client not, thereafter, prosecuted.

Dudley Coroner’s Court – July 2009 – evidence from client’s own expert disclosed to Inquest – of great significance to outcome - Legionella could not (as a result) be connected to the workplace under scrutiny.  Inquest foreshortened by several witnesses and a day and a half as a result. Interested Person not, thereafter, charged.

Warwickshire Coroner’s Court – November 2008/February 2009 – for H.M. Mining Inspectorate - 3 deaths in deep coal mine – issues of ventilation, fall of ground, transport – complex issues closely examined in 3 separate Inquests.

Shropshire Coroner’s Court – April 2008 – for major national manufacturer – death from boiler explosion– adequacy of expert examination prior to explosion. Findings of importance to successful resolution of subsequent prosecution.