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Ben Compton QC secures acquittal under s.37 Health & Safety at work allegation

Ben Compton QC has recently secured an acquittal for the director of Capstone Building Limited on a s.37 Health & Safety at work allegation.

Following a fatality at a building site in Lyme Regis, the case was heard at Bournemouth Crown Court where Ben appeared for the defendant.

The prosecution case against Mr Ayles, director of Capstone Building Limited, was that he had connived and/or attributed to the neglect of the company’s failings; however a structural engineer called by the HSE admitted under cross-examination that he had failed in some of his duties of advice to Mr Ayles and the HSE abandoned the case, 6 days into the trial.

This case raises interesting points on the extent that a prosecution of a director on a s.37 charge must demonstrate to a jury more than mere naivety and inexperience but a ‘hands-on’ approach at a site accompanied by wilful blindness or obvious neglect to a state of affairs that is causative of the offence.

Ben Compton QC is a specialist advocate in health and safety renowned for his extensive experience in civil and criminal courts, subsequent appeals at the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, together with jury inquests throughout the UK.

He is recognised as one of the country’s leading health & safety law barristers, ranked in Band 1 by Chambers & Partners, and in 2015 he was awarded the accolade of “Health & Safety Silk of the Year” at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards.

To instruct Ben or to find out more about his practice, please contact

News 20 Mar, 2019

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