David Temkin secures non-custodial sentence in Health & Safety mountain fatality case

February 18, 2015

David Temkin of Exchange Chambers represented Mr Tim Melling at Carlisle Crown Court. Mr Melling faced prosecution for serious Health & Safety breaches. For nearly three decades, Mr Melling operated a highly successful English Language School in the Lake District. As part of the school’s extra-curricular activities, Mr Melling led a group of students on a high-altitude hike in the Langdale Pikes. The weather forecast predicted winds of 90 mph. The route taken was described by the Crown as “inappropriate for the conditions.”  The case focused on the adequacy of risk assessments. One of the students, a 68-year old Swiss woman, was blown off the path and fell 100 feet down a sheer drop. She was killed upon impact with the rocks below.

In negotiation, David persuaded the Crown to abandon a number of counts on the Indictment.  Following a guilty plea to a single offence, the sentencing judge was initially minded to impose a sentence of imprisonment. However, upon consideration of David’s forceful mitigation, the judge was moved to impose a moderate financial penalty, thus permitting Mr Melling to continue his business activities.

David was instructed by Daniel Berke of Lewis Hymanson Small Solicitors. Mr Berke commented:

“David’s in-depth knowledge of Health & Safety law and procedure was only matched by the high standard of client care he provided. Through his timely and thorough preparation, the Defence were placed in an advantageous position which allowed successful negotiations as to the charges and the agreed facts of the case. I have no doubt that but for David’s skilled preparation and tenacious, persuasive advocacy, our client would not have received such a favourable outcome in this complex, very sensitive and tragic case.”