Advanced Search

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

Jonathan Vass charged with murder of Jane Clough

28/07/2010

The Crown Prosecution Service in Lancashire has today authorised that Jonathan Vass should be charged with the murder of Jane Clough, his former partner.

Neil Standage, Area Crown Prosecutor, said: "Having carefully examined the evidence provided to us by Lancashire Constabulary, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to charge Jonathan Vass with the murder of Jane Clough on 25 July at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. We have duly authorised Lancashire Constabulary to do so.

"He will appear at Blackpool Magistrates' Court tomorrow, where the case will be sent to Preston Crown Court to be heard at a later date.

"Mr Vass now stands charged with this serious offence. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice that trial."

Ends

  1.  For media enquiries call: 020 3357 0906
  2. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010. It can be seen at http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/core_quality_standards/index.html
  3. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism and the Fraud Prosecution Service. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.  This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.  The Protocol is published on our website at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/mediaprotocol.html