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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 - Clive Sharp sentenced to life for murder of Catherine Gowing


Clive Sharp has today been sentenced at Mold Crown Court for the murder of Catherine Gowing. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 37 years.

Emmalyne Downing, Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales, said: "Today's sentencing recognises Clive Sharp's responsibility for a most appalling, violent attack.

"Whilst Catherine's family and friends will not have to endure a full Crown Court trial in order to obtain justice for Catherine, we are acutely aware that today's sentencing cannot undo the unimaginable harm and distress caused by Clive Sharp.

"I would like to place on record our thanks to all those who have supported the prosecution of this case, especially those who have given statements to the police or had been willing to give evidence in court.

"Only Clive Sharp can truly know what motivated him to commit such a distressing and brutal act. What is beyond doubt is that the effects of his actions will continue to be felt by Catherine's family and friends for years to come. Our thoughts are with them."