Cot death manslaughter allegation trial resolves with health and safety failing

Jason Pitter QC, leading Geraldine Kelly, represented  the designer and manufacturer of a “cot bed” in which a 7 month baby tragically died of positional asphyxia having become trapped in one of the gaps manufactured into the bed guard. The bed had been custom made for the baby but the manufacturer had not had regard to the appropriate standards and guidelines in relation to making the bed safe.  He was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence in respect of the bed and an allegation of fraud in relation to selling further beds after the death of the baby.  There was an accepted breach of the duty of care to the baby.  At the close of the Prosecution case a review of the evidence and law in relation to grossness and whether there was a serious and obvious risk in light of the Defendants knowledge, resulted in the Prosecution accepting a plea to an offence under  s3 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  The Defendant was sentenced to a total of 40 months (19 months for the Health and Safety offence and 21 months for fraud)

The case, which was heard at Leeds Crown Court, received widespread media attention.

Jason Pitter QC
Call 1994
QC 2014


29th Oct 2018


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