Adrian Farrow comments on the new Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines

February 8, 2016

The latest Sentencing Council guidelines for Health and Safety breaches came into effect on 1st February and Adrian Farrow has prosecuted one of the first cases under the new regime.

Babcock Rail Ltd were fined £400,000 and ordered to pay over £33,000 costs following  their guilty plea to a breach of section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in connection with an accident at Hope Railway station in March 2013, when a worker was trapped between a road-rail JCB-type vehicle and the platform edge during track renewal work.

HHJ Hale, sitting at Mold Crown Court on 5th February, had to interpret the new Sentencing Guidelines, which now include non-fatal cases, following submissions by Adrian and Andrew Langdon QC, who appeared for Babcock Rail.

Said Adrian:

“The guidelines provide a huge range of discretion for the sentencing judge – and there is more scope for the advocates to argue the relevant category – both from the prosecution and the defence points of view.”

He added: “The one thing that is clear is that the level of sentences has increased hugely as this sentence shows.”

Adrian is on the A List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety law and is instructed to prosecute by the Health and Safety Executive Legal Advisor’s Office