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DWF represents Yorkshire Water following a prosecution by the HSE

19 October 2018
DWF represented Yorkshire Water at a sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court. Yorkshire Water had pleaded guilty to a breach of s.2 of HSWA 1974 in respect of an accident in July 2015.
 
DWF represented Yorkshire Water at a sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court. Yorkshire Water had pleaded guilty to a breach of s.2 of HSWA 1974 in respect of an accident in July 2015 in which one of its employees died as a result of burns sustained when he became engulfed in flames as a consequence of using an angle grinder in an oxygen enriched atmosphere. 

Yorkshire Water, a company with a turnover in excess of £1 billion, were fined £733,000 and ordered to pay £18,808 in costs.

Simon Belfield comments that "A brave and bold strategy of openly accepting, from a very early stage, that a prosecution would inevitably follow this tragic incident meant that we were able to control the investigation and prepare the most effective mitigation with co-operation over and above that would normally be expected. In staying faithful to the evidence, we were also able to succeed on all the arguments at sentencing in relation to culpability, harm category and aggravating features, thereby ensuring the fine was within the lower bracket and there was no need to go outside that bracket to achieve a proportionate sentence for a very large utility company with a turnover in excess of £1b. Understanding the evidential position and knowing your strategy at the earliest opportunity is key to ensuring the best possible result for your client."

Read more here

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