*R v NPS London Ltd

Health and safety at work – Fine. NPS London Ltd appealed against a fine of £370,000, which had been imposed following its guilty plea to an offence of failing to comply with its duty under s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the judge had erred in reading the sentencing guidelines as entitling him to treat NPS London Ltd as if it were a large organisation, for the purpose of sentencing. It ruled that it was the offending organisation's turnover, and not that of any linked organisation, which, at step two of the guidelines, was to be used to identify the relevant table. Accordingly, on the facts, the judge should have used the table that applied to small organisations. However, the court held that it had been proper to regard the NPS London Ltd's parent company as a linked organisation which could be counted on to provide the required funds. Taking account of the mitigating circumstances, the fine was reduced to £50,000.

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