A council architect charged with the manslaughter of seven people after the worst outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Britain is to face a retrial, it was announced at Preston crown court on Monday.
Gillian Beckingham, 46, was charged with seven counts of manslaughter after the outbreak at the Forum 28 Arts Centre in Barrow, Cumbria, in 2002.
Last week, after an eight-week trial, the jury at Preston crown court found her guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. But the jurors failed to reach a verdict on the manslaughter charge.
On Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service said Beckingham would face a retrial.
Sentencing for the breaches of health and safety laws was adjourned until the outcome of the retrial. Beckingham was given unconditional bail and no date has been set for the retrial.
Barrow-in-Furness council, which owns Forum 28, was cleared of corporate manslaughter charges half-way through the trial, but pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Nearly 200 people were infected with the disease, which spread from the arts centre’s air-conditioning system. Beckingham was the council’s head of technical and design services at the time of the outbreak.