Geotechnical Holdings failed to ensure the safety of a geologist crushed to death in a trench

Gloucester firm Geotechnical Holdings has become the first ever company to be convicted under new corporate manslaughter legislation.

A jury at Winchester Crown Court found the firm guilty of failure to ensure the safety of 27-year-old geologist Alexander Wright from Cheltenham.

Mr Wright died at a development site near Stroud when a trench collapsed on top of him in September 2008.

The company will be sentenced on Thursday and could be fined a percentage of their turnover.

It is the first prosecution under the new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act. The firm denied the charge of corporate manslaughter.

Company director Peter Eaton, 61, is seriously ill and was unable to appear in court. Charges against him as an individual were dropped last year due to his illness.