WF Trades Council comment on jailing of employer for worker manslaughter

Following the jailing of Han Rao for four years for the manslaughter of employee Marian Iancu at The Old Bailey today a spokesperson from Waltham Forest Trades Council said:

“The sentence handed to Mr Rao for the manslaughter of employee Mr Iancu whilst going about his work reflects the seriousness with which the courts can regard this kind of crime, albeit with a relatively short prison term given the nature of the crime.

“Sadly manslaughter prosecutions of employers who kill are rare and convictions at trial even rarer. This is despite the fact that when manslaughter laws were reviewed and new a corporate manslaughter law was put in place in 2008 it was estimated there would be a large increase in cases brought to trial and this has not manifested. There is also the anomaly in law which is yet to be corrected where directors on the board, typically of larger companies, escape this type of prosecution if there is no evidence of a direct link from their actions or inaction to the incident at the workplace and where roles and relationships can become complex and easier to hide behind – and all of this despite their obvious connection.

“Mr Rao is going to jail because TLW is a small business and identifying him as responsible was far easier than in much larger businesses.

“We need a legal system which acts as a deterrent for all organisations. 

“We also need a fully funded enforcement body which is able to prevent the deaths of workers like Mr Iancu. 

“Mr Iancu’s family and friends must be devastated today and although a prison sentence has been handed down they will probably not feel that justice is served with four years for this preventable death.

“It would be far better if the legal and enforcement systems, which are meant to act as a deterrent and prevent such incidents, were up to the job – and this must change.”

Waltham Forest Trades Council is a TUC body which covers Leyton and which is where Mr Iancu lived.

Mr Rao was given a four year sentence for manslaughter and a further fifteen months for breaching health and safety laws. The company, TLW, will be sentenced later following further reports on its financial position.

Further information on the case from the police:


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