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First Corporate Manslaughter trial adjourned

The first corporate manslaughter prosecution using the new Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 has been adjourned until Friday for jury selection.

The trial was due to begin this morning, but will be postponed until Friday.

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd has been charged with unlawfully killing a young geologist by gross negligence under the Act. Sole director Peter Eaton will face the charges.

Alexander Wright, 27, was gathering soil samples in a trench which collapsed and killed him in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in September 2008.

The geology graduate, from Cheltenham, was declared dead at the scene. Rescue workers took over two days to recover his body from several tonnes of mud.

Eaton also faces a charge under common law of killing by gross negligence, and he and his company face one health and safety charge each, in relation to the same incident.

The trial would test new legislation, which makes companies and bosses accountable for deaths at work.

Eaton, 60, of Stroud, Gloucestershire had been granted unconditional bail.

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