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Landmark corporate trial begins

Lawyers across the country will be watching as a landmark corporate court case begins today. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings becomes the first company to be tried under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act after being accused of a “gross breach” of duty in connection with the death of junior employee Alexander Wright, who was killed when a pit collapsed. If convicted the firm – which had turnover of just £330,000 in 2008 – could be fined a minimum of £500,000. Company director Peter Eaton, 60, also faces a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.