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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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Prosecuting Homicide

Murder and manslaughter are two of the offences that constitute homicide.

Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways:

  1. killing with the intent for murder but where there is provocation, diminished responsibility or a suicide pact.
  2. conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and resulted in death.
  3. conduct, taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm, that caused death.

With some exceptions, the crime of murder is committed, where a person:

  • of sound mind and discretion (i.e. sane):
  • unlawfully kills (i.e. not self-defence or other justified killing)
  • any reasonable creature (human being)
  • in being (born alive and breathing through its own lungs)
  • under the Queen's Peace
  • with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

There are other specific homicide offences, for example, infanticide, causing death by dangerous driving, and corporate manslaughter.

Find out more about prosecuting homicide

CPS decides not to charge shopkeeper over death of armed robber


Lancashire Crown Prosecution Service has decided shopkeeper Mangal Singh should not be charged with murder following the death of an armed robber during a violent struggle outside Mr Singh's shop in Skelmersdale.

Assistant District Crown Prosecutor for South West Lancashire, John Dilworth, said: "The evidence from the police has been reviewed and we have decided that Mr Singh, known locally to the community as Tony, was acting in self defence and should not be prosecuted for any offence over the death of Liam Kilroe.

"Mr Kilroe died as the result of a single stab wound to the chest. It is clear he was trying to rob Mr Singh of the day's takings and that Mr Singh resisted and defended himself in the struggle that followed.

"While this case does not concern a householder defending themself against an intruder, it has very similar considerations. Therefore, we have considered our prosecution policy and guidance on householders and the use of force.

"The CPS understands that anxiety may sometimes be felt by innocent members of the public if they are obliged to defend themselves from attack. But the law protects the law-abiding and the Director of Public Prosecutions is determined to ensure that those who use reasonable force in defending themselves will enjoy the full protection of the law. They will not be prosecuted."

  1. Mr Singh was involved in a violent struggle with Liam Kilroe in Birleywood, Skelmersdale on the evening of 17 February 2008.
  2. The CPS policy on Householders and the use of force against intruders is available on this website in the Publications/Prosecution Policy and Guidance section.
  3. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.