In a well publicised prosecution, Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings is the first company to be charged under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 following a fatal incident involving junior geologist Alexander Wright. Wright was killed when a trench that he had been working in collapsed, causing him to be asphyxiated under several tonnes of mud. As a result of torrential rain in the days leading up to the incident, it took two days to render the site safe in order to recover his body. The company is facing a second charge under s2 (1) of the HSWA and the company director, Peter Eaton, has also been charged individually with gross negligence manslaughter. However, it is unlikely that the case will prove to be an enlightening test case for the application of the new Act in view of the relatively small size of the company which registered a turnover of £330k in the year to 1 March 2008. The Act had been introduced in order to bring to account the "controlling minds" of medium - large companies, rather than smaller businesses. One aspect of interest is the penalty to be applied if the corporate manslaughter charge is successful. Under the Act, the fine is unlimited, whilst the SAP guidelines propose fines are between 5% -10% of turnover. No pleas were entered at the first hearing on 17 June and the matter has been committed to Bristol Crown Court for a further hearing on 19 August.