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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 statement on Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan - accomplices of Raoul Moat


Kingsley Hyland, CPS North East's Head of the Complex Casework Unit said:

"The events of early July last year focussed the attention of the world's media on Northumbria in a way never previously experienced.

"An innocent victim of Raoul Moat lost his life in the early hours of 3 July and I would like to pay tribute to the courage and dignity which Mrs Sally Brown has displayed as she sat through the graphic and no doubt harrowing evidence of her son's final minutes.

"I would also like to pay tribute to PC David Rathband and Samantha Stobbart who have had to re-live in court the horrific events which came so close to ending their lives too. The shooting of PC David Rathband, which meant he has lost his sight, was a truly shocking event.

"It was the Crown's case that Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, at different times, willingly engaged with Moat in full knowledge of what his intentions were. The jury by their verdicts have accepted that. Ness and Awan will now have a considerable time to reflect upon the consequences of allying themselves to Moat and his murderous intentions."