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First corporate manslaughter trial to begin in February

The UK’s first corporate manslaughter case is expected to be tried next February, a crown court was told today.

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings is charged under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 with the unlawful killing of a young geologist by gross negligence. Director Peter Eaton is also charged with manslaughter under common law.

Mr Eaton was due to enter his pleas at Bristol Crown Court, but the case was adjourned after an application for more time by his legal counsel. A plea hearing will now occur in October, on a date yet to be set.

The trial was, however, pencilled in for 23 February.

Alexander Wright, 27, was collecting soil samples in a trench in Stroud, Gloucestershire, last September when it collapsed, killing him.

Mr Eaton and his company each also face a charge of breaching health and safety regulations in regard to the incident.