Alton Towers disaster leads to £5 million fine

Wed, 28 Sep 2016

On 26 September Bernard Thorogood presented the prosecution case in the Alton Towers disaster hearing for sentence. The Judge agreed with the prosecution that economic damage arising from an offence did not constitute mitigation. He found both culpability and risk of harm was high and said the fine would have been £7.5 million after a trial. He said it was “arguable” the circa £400m turnover “very greatly exceeded” the threshold for “large” organisations”, but said he could impose a penalty which had a real economic impact within the guidelines and did not need to go beyond them to do so.

Coincidentally, on 26 September HSE announced the prosecution of the manufacturer of the ejection seat which failed to keep a Red Arrows pilot safe when the seat operated at ground level, resulting in a fatality. Bernard Thorogood also prosecutes this case.

It’s been a busy Autumn so  far for Bernard Thorogood - his client was acquitted on the order of the Judge in Cardiff Crown Court in relation to another fatal incident and earlier in September he was involved in another noteworthy decision handed down in the Nottingham Crown Court, in particular concerning the significance of group financial support for a defendant company (Embrace All Limited) and the effect that might have on the level of fine – turnover of circa £12 million – fine of £1.5 million.

Bernard Thorogood is part of the Regulatory and Licensing Group at No5 Chambers, please click here to view Bernard's profile.

Alton Towers Press links from 26 September 2016

BBC News

Press links from 27 September 2016

BBC News
The Guardian
The Telegraph

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