In the first corporate manslaughter sentencing under the sentencing guidelines in force from February 2016, Monavon Construction Ltd pleaded guilty to two counts of corporate manslaughter and a breach of the duty to non-employees under section 3(1) HSWA 1974.
Gavin Brewer, 32, and Stuart Meads, 34, were friends who had been arguing and scuffling as they walked home in the early hours of 19 October 2013. As they walked past a building site near Euston Station they came into contact with timber hoarding, which gave way and fell 3.7 metres into the basement. They both suffered fatal head and neck injuries.
Oliver Glasgow QC, for the prosecution, said the hoarding was not of sufficient height or strength.
At the Old Bailey the company was fined £250,000 for each of the corporate manslaughter offences, plus an additional £50,000 for the HSWA 1974 breach. The judge also imposed a publicity order on the company and ordered they pay costs of £23,000.
The sentencing was based on the company being a “micro organisation” with a turnover of much less than £2m. The court took into account the company’s good safety record and lack of previous prosecutions against it, as well as the remedial steps taken after the accident. There was also a reduction of each of the corporate manslaughter fines by £50,000 due to the company’s guilty pleas, but no explanation seems to have been given as to how this was assessed.