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Fiona Horlick KC, leading Oliver Powell, appear on behalf of CEO of Care Home Provider

Fiona Horlick KC, leading Oliver Powell, appear on behalf of CEO of Care Home Provider

Fiona Horlick KC and Oliver Powell, instructed by Andrew Oliver of Andrew Jackson LLP, appeared on behalf of a care home provider at Teesside Crown Court. Following applications made by Fiona and Oliver (& other co-defending counsel), the CPS offered no evidence.

Background: between 2016 and 2017, 5 service users, who were residents at two care homes owned by the care provider, passed away. The 8 defendants faced an indictment containing 19 counts arising from the circumstances in which the 5 people died. The deceased were all residents in care homes. The matter was listed for a 10-week trial.

The case: Broadly distilled, it was the Crown’s case that the care home provider failed to discharge a duty under s.3 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 on 5 occasions, and that the CEO had consented or connived in the commission of those offences, or that the alleged offences were attributable to his neglect. From the outset of the criminal investigation, the CEO vehemently refuted the allegations.

The Applications: Fiona and Oliver prepared detailed written submissions addressing, inter alia, the manner in which the disclosure exercise had been undertaken, and the admissibility of expert evidence relied upon by the Crown. Following receipt of the various submissions by the defendant parties, the CPS applied to adjourn the proceedings in order to resolve the extant disclosure issues and to instruct a new expert witness. The application was robustly opposed by all defendants. His Honour Judge Jonathan Carroll refused the application to adjourn, following which the Crown offered no evidence against all defendants.

In handing down his 21-page judgment, HHJ Carroll directed that the Chief Crown Prosecutor provide a detailed explanation as to what happened in the case and why it was that the position had been arrived at. He made in clear that he intended to refer any such report to the Presiding Judges of this Circuit, with a request that it be onwards referred to the Senior Presiding Judge. He further directed that the Crown must now show cause as to why a Wasted Costs Order pursuant to s.19A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 should not be made.

Find out more

Fiona’s health and safety practice specialises in regulatory law which is complimented with many years of experience in criminal enforcement. Her practice is predominantly defence work with particular interest in criminal proceedings, inquests and inquiries, fire safety, food safety and Maritime regulatory law. Fiona is regularly instructed by large multinational companies and/or their Directors, concerning fatalities or serious accidents in the workplace, as well as regulatory breaches concerning HSWA, food safety and fire safety. She appears in proceedings before the Crown Court, Magistrates Court and in Coronial proceedings in courts in England and Wales. She is particularly sought after by clients for her strategic input into investigations pre-PACE interview with a target of achieving a result of no further action.

Oliver’s legal practice includes Health, Safety & Environment. He is ranked in the Legal 500 for Health & Safety (Tier 1). Oliver acts for companies and company officers in prosecutions brought by the CPS, HSE, MCA and local authorities. He is routinely involved in matters where there have been fatalities or serious injuries in the workplace. Oliver is currently retained in respect of a number of matters which are being investigated for gross negligence or corporate manslaughter and associated offences under HSWA 1974. In addition to prosecutions and regulatory investigations, he is frequently instructed in coronial inquests and inquiries.

To instruct Fiona and/or Oliver or find out more about either of them, please contact Nick Levett on +44 (0)20 7427 4908 / for a confidential discussion.

News 26 Jun, 2024


Fiona Horlick KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2019

Oliver Powell

Call: 2006 (England & Wales); 2010 (Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI))

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