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Her Majesty's Advocate v. Munro and Sons (Highland) Limited [2009] HCJAC 10


Crown Appeal Against Sentence:- On 11 April 2008 the respondents pled guilty at a continued preliminary hearing at the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh of a contravention of section 3(1) and section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 which related to a road traffic accident involving a lorry driver employed by the respondents which resulted in a female dying. The sentencing judge imposed a fine of £3,750, discounted from £5,000 to reflect the plea of guilty at the stage at which it was tendered. The Crown appealed against the sentence on the ground that it was unduly lenient, although no exception was taken with the discount applied of 25%. The issue was whether the starting point of £5,000 could be regarded as unduly lenient. On indictment, in terms of Section 33(1A) of the Act, the court may impose a fine of unlimited amount. Here the court considered the relevant factors to be taken into account with a review of the mainly English authorities.