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Jeremy Barnett achieves ‘Exceptional Sentence’ in HSE prosecution

The owner of specialist Smoked Salmon Curers, Goldstein Smoked Salmon was conditionally discharged by the Westminster Magistrates Court following his prosecution for breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act after his maintenence man suffered an amputated finger whilst attempting to fix a faulty skinning machine. The Magistrates indicated that this was an exceptional sentence at the very bottom of the sentencing guidelines in view of the powerful mitigating features that were raised.

Mr Goldstein is the owner of Goldstein Smoked Salmon, a company formed in 1960, based in Stanmore, North London. The firm employs approximately 24 employees and supplies it’s product mainly to the wholesale market.

The accident occurred when Mr Henderson repaired the skinning machine which was making an irritating noise. On 17.12.10 EH was injured whilst he was wearing gloves, moving his hands toward the cogging mechanism while the machine was still running, sustaining injuries to his fingers and hand.

The Magistrates accepted that this was a case that demonstrated a number of mitigating features and imposed a sentence that reflected all of the submissions that were made on behalf of the Defendant. In summary the mitigating features that were accepted by the court were as follows 

  • Prompt report and co operationg with the HSE.
  • Plea of guilty at the first opportunity
  • Previous good record with no prior convictions.
  • Good compliance with other regulatory regimes in particular Food Hygene regulations.
  • Substantial steps already taken in corrective action to set up proper risk assessment and training.
  • Excecllent reputation as a local employer
  • Mr Henderson, who has returned to work accepted this was an act of folly on his behalf and he has been comensated for his injury. 

Mr Goldstein was given a conditional discharge for 2 years and agreed to pay £1609 in costs. The Magistrates accepted that the omissions that brought about the plea of guilty were not to gain an economic advantage and in view of all of the mitigating features, an exceptional approach to sentence could be taken at the very bottom of the sentencing guidelines for this type of offence. 

Mr Goldstein was represented by Hannah Bradshaw of Finers Stephens Innocent Solicitors, London and Jeremy Barnett of 2 Bedford Row, London.


Originally posted 2012-11-29 00:00:00.

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