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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

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UK: manslaughter sentencing guidelines

UK: manslaughter sentencing guidelines
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New Zealand

People convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in the UK are likely to face jail terms of between five and 12 years if their negligence was motivated by financial gain or avoidance of cost, or other factors indicating high culpability.

IOSHmagazine reports the Sentencing Council’s new guidelines, which came into effect on 1 November, follow a step-by-step process similar to the Council’s guidelines for sentencing health and safety offences, which since their publication in February 2016 have prompted a significant rise in fines.

The new manslaughter guidelines say that other than financial motives, other factors that could tip a convicted offender into the high culpability category include showing a blatant disregard for very high risk of death resulting from their conduct, or being a leader where other people contributed to the offence.

If these factors occur in combination then the guidelines suggest a very high culpability range should start at 12 years’ imprisonment.

To put this in context, only ten people were sentenced in the UK in 2016 for gross negligence manslaughter.



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