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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.

Find out more about private prosecutions

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 advises charges in 21-year old murder case


The Crown Prosecution Service has this afternoon advised the Metropolitan Police that Garry John Vian and James Fredrick William Cook be charged with the murder of Daniel Morgan in South London in 1987. It has also advised that Sidney Alexander Fillery be charged with perverting the course of justice.

The case was last reviewed by the CPS in 2003 but at that time it was not possible to advise prosecution. It was then subject to a number of further police investigations and public appeals. A full file of evidence from the most recent investigation was received by the CPS in June 2007 and then reviewed by the Special Casework team of CPS London.

Reviewing lawyer Stuart Sampson said: "There has been a great deal of speculation in relation to this killing but it is only recently that crucial witnesses have come forward to assist a prosecution. The CPS and police have been working together in order to ensure that there is a case which can be put before a jury with a realistic prospect of conviction."

  1. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7710 6088.
  2. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution;
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute;
    • Preparing cases for court;
    • Presentation of cases at court;

    The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 83.7% in 2006-2007. Further information can be found on this website.