R v Winterton

Criminal law – Gross negligence manslaughter. The defendant construction site manager's renewed application for permission to appeal, and his appeal, against his conviction for gross negligence manslaughter of the deceased labourer, who had died following the collapse of a trench at a building site, were dismissed. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the judge had been right to leave the case to the jury at the close of the prosecution case. It further ruled that there had been evidence from which the jury could conclude that the defendant had actually been aware of the method of excavation, that it had been dangerous, and that there had been a serious risk of death. He had owed a duty of care to the workers on the site, and the question as to whether the negligence alleged had been so gross to be criminal had been a matter for the jury. Further, the court held that the judge had not fallen into error in directing the jury as he had or in the formulation of his route to verdict.

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