By Andrew Northage, Stuart Ponting, Robert Starr

£900,000 fine reduced on appeal; other sentencing news; government ban on combustible cladding; and more.

£900,000 fine reduced to £135,000 on appeal

A utilities company has had its £900,000 fine reduced to £135,000 on appeal. Electricity North West Ltd was convicted of contravening regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, but acquitted on two other counts of breaching regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The conviction followed an incident in which an employee died after falling from height while clearing ivy from a vertical wooden pole. The company argued that the size of the fine bore no relation to the seriousness of the offence, in terms of culpability and harm, and in light of the acquittals on the other two counts, and that it was manifestly excessive.