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Proposed new sentencing guidelines for Gross Negligence Manslaughter

New sentencing guidelines have proposed jail terms of up to 18 years for gross negligence manslaughter, with health and safety being singled out for increases.

The highest sentences apply to individuals whose disregard of safety was motivated by cost cutting, sentences are also set to increase to an 8 year starting point in mainstream cases, where the failing persisted for weeks or the offender was aware there was a risk of death.

The guidelines include a step-by-step guide that judges must follow in determining sentences for gross negligence manslaughter, which is the most serious offence that can be committed by an individual for a health and safety breach. The draft is open for consultation until 10 October 2017 and is expected to come into force for sentences imposed from December 2018. 

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