The first criminal prosecution of a company under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 was widely reported back in 2009. Finally, on 15 February 2011, Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Limited became the first company in the UK to be convicted of statutory corporate manslaughter.
The jury found that the company's system of work (relating to the digging of trial pits) was "extremely irresponsible and dangerous" and that it had not complied with industry guidance. The company was fined £385,000 (payable over 10 years due to its parlous financial position).
It is apparent from this case that the company was found to have a cavalier attitude to health and safety. One of the other main messages from the judgment is that a bigger company would have received a substantially higher penalty and that fines causing liquidation cannot be ruled out.