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Sentencing over Basildon health and safety breaches is deferred

The sentencing of an Essex hospital trust over health and safety breaches has been deferred until tomorrow.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Trust had previously pleaded guilty to failing to protect patients from the potentially-fatal effects of Legionnaires' disease.

Two patients at Basildon Hospital were infected and died in 2007 and 2010 and another eight people contracted the disease between 2004 and 2010.

The court heard the hospital cut spending on chemical treatment of the water system in 2006 in an "inappropriate cost-saving measure".

Bosses arrived at Chelmsford Crown Court today for sentencing but the judge decided to defer sentencing until tomorrow so he could deal with a second case against the trust at the same time.

The trust apologised and said significant improvements had now been made.