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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

Firm guilty of manslaughter over London balcony fall

19/05/2017

A construction firm has today (May 19) been convicted of the manslaughter of two workers who died after falling from a central London balcony. Its director was convicted of health and safety offences.

Martinisation (London) Ltd and Martin Gutaj had denied corporate manslaughter and related health and safety offences but were convicted of all charges following a trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The trial heard how Tomasz Procko, 22, and Karol Symanski, 29, fell to their deaths after the railings at a flat in Cadogan Square gave way in November 2014. The men had been attempting to haul a heavy sofa up onto the balcony using ropes with only the Victorian railings for safety.

Nick Vamos, from the CPS, said: "Martinisation Ltd and its director Martin Gutaj showed an appalling disregard for the safety of their employees, with terrible consequences.

"Sadly, this incident was entirely foreseeable and preventable. Neither was it an isolated breach. The evidence put forward by the prosecution clearly demonstrated to the jury how these tragic deaths were part of a pattern of serious neglect of basic health and safety.

"Our thoughts are with the families of Tomasz and Karol."

Sentencing will take place in due course.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Nick Vamos is Deputy Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233