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Sentencing impecunious defendants for health & safety offences

Nottingham CC v Nkanka: HH Judge Sampson QC was set a difficult sentencing task in the Nottingham Crown Court for a charge under s.4 Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.

A defective handrail had collapsed in premises occupied as a community centre, causing serious injuries to a wedding guest. The centre was run by a volunteer who was the chairman of an unincorporated association with minimal funds and the volunteer also was impecunious by the time of sentencing. Charges were brought against the unincorporated association and the volunteer whose act or default had caused the accident. A plea of Guilty was accepted from the volunteer, leaving the charge against the unincorporated association on the file.

Read a summary of the decision – Nottingham City Council v Nkanka.