Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Manslaughter trial over geologist's death adjourned

Alex Wright: Picture from Gloucestershire News Service
An inquest heard that Mr Wright suffocated when the trench collapsed

The trial of the first UK company to be charged under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter Act has been adjourned for legal arguments.

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings is accused over the death of 27-year-old employee Alex Wright of Cheltenham.

The geologist died in September 2008 when a trench collapsed on him as he collected soil samples in Brimscombe.

Company director Peter Eaton, 60, of Stroud, also faces a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

The trial was adjourned untill Friday.

Mr Eaton could be jailed for life if convicted.

The maximum sentence for his firm, which also faces charges for health and safety breaches, is an unlimited fine.

The new act was introduced to make corporate manslaughter cases easier to bring.

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