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Notable Cases

Aviva –v- Farida Ashraf    Bradford Crown Court April 2019 – Matthew Smith and Camilla Buck

Farida Ashraf walked into the Al-Halal supermarket in Bradford with two accomplices who surreptitiously moved a large pallet of orange juice cartons into the aisle. She purported to stumble over the same. Cleverly (or so she thought) Miss Ashraf delayed sending a letter of claim to the supermarket for 8 months and then claimed for injuries and consequential losses which could have cost Aviva, the insurer involved, almost £60,000. Unfortunately for her, an eagle-eyed employee had not only spotted the incident on CCTV but had carefully retained the footage “just in case”. She brought a civil claim (and persisted with it even in the face of the CCTV evidence) and Matthew Smith successfully defended it in 2017.

HHJ David Hatton QC, gave Mrs Ashraf, who studied law at Bradford College, a suspended sentence of 21 months.  And said “This is a case properly and responsibly brought by the insurance company and one that should have been brought by CPS but that is water under the bridge”   before awarding Aviva its costs out of central funds.

R-V- Abbey Architectural Ironmongery Company Ltd. (Ongoing) Tom Gent  Defending. Fatality involving a fall from height at a warehouse. Principle defendant charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

HSE -V- Lewis McArdle trading as Grimsby lifts. (July 2018)Tom Gent  defending. Platform lift incident at a residential care home involving a fall down a lift shaft.

Richard Wright Q.C. leading Howard Shaw (April 2018) respond to an Appeal against Conviction of a Slaughterhouse for an Offence under the TSE (England) Regulations involving EU law and it’s interplay with the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies sampling regime in slaughterhouses.  Full Article

HSE -V- RK Civil Engineering Ltd, RK District Heating Ltd (April 2018) – Robert Stevenson prosecuted two companies following the death of a 36 year old employee who was crushed by large heating pipes.  Press coverage

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority -v- Sloping Tactic Ltd – (April 2018) – Andrea Parnham  Prosecuting –  Breach of fire safety regulations resulted in hotel’s closure.   press coverage

East Riding Council -v- Dixfield LLP & another – (Ongoing)  Craig Hassall  prosecuting – Food Safety offences following a child suffering a significant anaphylactic reaction at a wedding reception.

HSE -V- Cumbria Design Scaffolding Ltd & Larkin Engineering Services Ltd – (Ongoing) – Craig Hassall Prosecutes two companies  after an employee of one company was fatally injured when the other company was contracted to lift a large piece of metalwork.

R -v- Woodward & others – (March 2018) Howard Shaw prosecuting, Christopher Moran, Christopher Boxall and Holly Clegg defending. Long running slaughterhouse cruelty case.The Divisional Court case is now the leading case on the time-limit provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is reported at R v Woodward & others [2017] EWHC 1008 (Admin); [2017] JP 405; [2017] Crim LR 884.

HSE -V- SIG Trading Ltd – (Ongoing) Craig Hassall prosecutes a manufacturing company following a partial amputation of an employee’s hand in a folding machine.

HSE-v- Impact Fork Trucks Ltd – (Ongoing) Craig Hassall  prosecutes following life-changing injuries suffered by an Engineer whose head was crushed between the masts of two forklift trucks.

North Yorkshire Trading Standards v B & M Retail Ltd (January 2018) Craig Hassall acts for the prosecution against Robert Stevenson in the first case involving the risk of fire and explosion of the battery packs on hover boards / glide boards. The defendant is charged with offences under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.

HSE -v- Rhino Precast Ltd – (December 2017) Tom Gent Defending – fall from height. CDM Regulations

HSE -V- Plevin and Sonst Ltd (November 2017) – Craig Hassall Prosecuted a transport company whose employee had suffered a fatal fall from height whilst operating a walking floor trailer.  press coverage

R v Mohammed Zaman (November 2017) Richard Wright QC leading Craig Hassall  prosecuted for Yorkshire & Humber Complex Case Unit in the gross negligence manslaughter case involving curry being served to a person with a nut allergy. The jury unanimously convicted the restaurateur of manslaughter and regulatory offences. He is currently serving 6 imprisonment his conviction having been upheld by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.  BBC Coverage   New York Times Coverage  Washington Post Coverage

HSE -V- Dufell Roofing Ltd (October 2017) Tom Gent defending. Fall from height

HSE -v- W E Rawson – (July 2017) Craig Hassall prosecuting. Section 2 HSWA 74 arising from a fatal incident in which an employee was dragged into a packaging machine and crushed.

HSE -v- Neesam & Son Ltd (July 2017) Tom Gent Defending – A free standing wall on a fram collapsed and crushed employee to death.

EA v A & others (ongoing) Simon Clegg is prosecution junior in one of the largest and most complex prosecution brought by the Environment Agency in Yorkshire. With 10 defendants and multiple experts encompassing a plethora of disciplines, the case has involved allegations of abuse of process, the lawfulness of surveillance evidence, the lawfulness of searches, restraint proceedings and a significant disclosure exercise.

HSE v Suez Recycling Ltd (June 2017)  Craig Hassall prosecuted the defendant (subsidiary company) that run an “Energy from Waste” facility. The injured party was covered with extremely hot ash whilst clearing a blockage. Press Coverage HSE press release

HSE -V- Altak Ltd (June 2017) Tom Gent Defending. Charged with S.3(1) when a bolt flew from a ramp mechanism that killed an employee.

R v Steven Riley & others (March 2017) Howard Shaw Prosecuted on behalf of DEFRA. Causing unnecessary cruelty to a bovine animal awaiting slaughter. Cases stated appeal by defence. Case significant to the CPS as it confirmed the CPS as the “prosecutor” for the time limitation provisions of animal welfare legislation. The judgement also addressed the liability of partners in such cases.

City of York Council -v- Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (March 2017) Tom Gent prosecuted on behalf of York City Council York Crown Court found that the residential care home was guilty of not having a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in place and that as a result of climbing out of a second floor window on 1 November 2011, a resident sustained injuries which later contributed to her death. Press Coverage

R v Horner (August 2017) Pending trial at Sheffield Crown Court Simon Clegg prosecutes on behalf of the EA the company accused of filling warehouses with unlawful waste after allegedly charging large sums to dispose of it legitimately.

Craven District Council –v- David Eckersall (January 2017) Ben Thomas was instructed by Craven District Council in the successful prosecution of David Eckersall for the demolition of a listed building without consent in Thornton in Craven. The Defendant had taken the decision to demolish Nuttercote Farm, which he had recently purchased, when his neighbours were away. As well as destroying Nuttercote Farm the demolition work caused considerable damage to the neighbouring property. The case involved consideration of the rules pertaining to listed buildings and the consents to make alterations to these buildings.   Press Coverage

Aviva –v- Penny & Others Bradford Crown Court 2016 – David Dixon and Camilla Buck

This Landmark prosecution which resulted from a contrived collision with a bus involved 21 defendants which necessitated that there be 3 separate trials.

The total sentence for the group was some 29 years and 4 months and the Insurer saw its 20 potential claims disappear.

The case was subsequently received the Personal Injury Award 2016 for ‘Outstanding Case of the Year’

HSE v East Riding of Yorkshire Council (November 2016) Craig Hassall acted for the defendant local authority in this HSE prosecution following a fall from height by one of its employees resulting in spinal injury.   Press Coverage

HSE v Allen & Hunt Engineers Ltd (November 2016) Instructed to behalf of the Health & Safety Executive Robert Stevenson prosecuted the company following a fall from a barn roof resulted in life changing injuries for an employee.   HSE Coverage

R v AXL 1 Ltd (Trading as Alexander Snee Ltd) Richard Wright QC defended and Glenn Parsons prosecuted on behalf of Trading Standards the company for breaches of Regulation 8 of the consumer Protection from unfair Contract Terms Regulations 2008Press Coverage

Environment Agency -v- Brian Hannon (November 2016) Craig Hassall prosecuted the company director under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 following a fire at his firm’s chemical plant releasing 1,600 litres of formaldehyde and industrial-strength acids from there containers.  Press Coverage

Chief Constable of Humberside Police v Benjamin Lumby (October 2016) Phillipa Hildyard acted for the Chief Constable in this appeal. One of the first examples of a SHPO being imposed where the defendant does not have any previous convictions for sexual offences.

Inquest touching the death of Richard Brown (September 2016) Representing Howdens Joinery Ltd. at the inquest into the death of a delivery driver who was killed when a stack of worktops fell on him from a forklift truck during an unloading procedure.  The inquest took place in front of a jury over the course of a week and the Health & Safety systems of the company were examined in considerable detail. Tom Gent protected the interests of the company.   Press Coverage

HSE v Sonocco Cores & Paper Limited (September 2016) Robert Stevenson Prosecuted the sizeable company which employed over 19,000 people over 300 sites worldwide for Health & Safety breaches resulting in an employee losing three fingers and suffering crush injuries.

HSE v Knowsley Engineering Services Limited (August 2016) Tom Gent defended the company who pleaded guilty to offence contrary s.21(1) of HSWA. Serious injury arising from fork lift truck accident.  HSE Coverage  

 Middlesborough Borough Council v Poundworld Retail Limited and Easi-Recycling Solutions Limited (August 2016) Tom Gent defended second defendant who had supplied a defective recycling machine which caused serious injury to an employee when her arm became trapped.

HSE v Tracey Gilboy (July 2016) Craig Hassall prosecuted and Tom Gent defended in a case involving a fatality at a care home. An adult with special needs was given a cough sweet which caused the patient to choke. A charge of gross negligence manslaughter was not pursued following the discovery of a rare syndrome within the patient. Regulatory offences were therefore pursued.

HSE v Pauls Malt Ltd T/A Boormalt (July 2016) Andrew Wilson represented a European company with a U.K turnover of £129m (and so outside of the top bracket of the sentencing guidelines).A guilty plea was entered to an offence contrary to section 33 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 act by breaching its duties under s 3(1) of the Act.

R v Wild & Holly (June 2016) Acting on behalf of City of York Trading Standards Glenn Parsons prosecuted the defendants who set up a fraudulent company that sold worthless wills & powers of attorney to the elderly. 4 week trial resulting in in conviction of Fraud and consumer law offences.

R v Anthony Clarkson (June 2016) Howard Shaw prosecuted on behalf of DEFRA   for fraudulently marketing over six million barn eggs as free range.

Inquest into the death of Lyndon Perks (Representing ICTS (UK) Ltd (May 2016) Tom Gent Represented ICTS (UK) Ltd, the employers of the deceased, protecting their interests in anticipation of a prosecution by the HSE. Worker at Immingham Dock hit by LGV – knocked to the ground overrun by the vehicle sustaining fatal injuries. Inquest touched on the health and safety procedures of the various Companies involved in the receiving of shipments at the docks.

Inquest into the death of “S” (April 2016) a middle aged mentally ill female who had amphetamine in her system restrained in a Sikh temple after assaulting an elderly female outside. Restraint asphyxia by member of the public untrained in restraint techniques. CCTV and mobile phone footage of the incident recorded. Lorraine Harris protected the interests of the member of the public who restrained the deceased.

Inquest into the death of “B” (April 2016) Lorraine Harris Represented the interests of the driver of a school bus involved in a collision that resulted in the death of 33 year old cyclist who was a teacher at the school and had been teaching some of the children on the bus shortly before the accident. “B” travelling on a pathway cycle lane did not give way to bus turning left and was crushed beneath the wheel. Layout of crossings and signalling addressed.