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Adam Farrer represented the prosecution in a case brought by the Health & Safety Executive against the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. The University had entered a guilty plea to the charge of exposing students to a risk to their safety in the course of a sports science practical exercise. On 25th January 2017 the case was heard by HHJ Bindloss sitting at Newcastle Crown Court.
The circumstances of the offence were that on 23rd March 2015 two second year Applied Sport and Exercise Science students at the University volunteered during a class to take part in a practical exercise designed to measure the effects of caffeine on the body during exercise. The two students should have been given of 0.30grams and 0.32grams of caffeine respectively. However, due to errors in calculating the dose of caffeine made by the laboratory technicians (who multiplied body weight by 0.4 as opposed to 0.004), the two students were erroneously given (in a water and orange juice solution) some 30.7grams and 32grams of caffeine respectively.
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