DPP Appeal Against Lenient Sentence Fails For Inadequate Service And For Being Out Of Time

Author:Ms Siobhán Hayes
Profession:Arthur Cox

The People at the suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions .v. Patrick Monaghan (Drogheda) Limited.   [2014] IECA 52.

In this case, Patrick Monaghan and Company had pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court to breaches of sections 12 and sections 77((9)(a) of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 200, that is that they had failed to manage or conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that in the course of the work, that individuals at the place of work (not being their employees) were not exposed to risks to their safety health and welfare.

The circumstances of the case were tragic; the company were stevedores and were loading timber poles at Town Quay in Drogheda on 10 November 2009. A 3 year old child walking along the public quay with his father was hit by a rolling pole, which fatally crushed him. The pole had been intertwined with other stacks and had been caused to move by an employee who was trying to load poles from another stack.  The company had not taken account of the public area and had not established an exclusion zone.

The sentencing court imposed a fine of25,000 and expenses of5,290. The maximum penalty for such an offence by a body corporate was3 million and the DPP submitted that the sentencing judge had erred in law and in fact by imposing...

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