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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

Two Leicester Royal Infirmary medical staff found guilty of manslaughter following the death of six year old boy

04/11/2015

Two members of staff, Doctor Hadiza Bawa-Garba and Staff Nurse Isabel Amaro, from Leicester Royal Infirmary have been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of the offence of gross negligence manslaughter.

This conviction follows the tragic death of six year old Jack Adcock, who died at the hospital on 18 February 2011 after being admitted on the recommendation of his doctor that day. Upon reaching the hospital Jack was very unwell and suffering from sickness, dehydration and rapid breathing and was admitted to the Children's Assessment Unit. Whilst on this ward he was under the care of Dr Bawa-Garba and Staff Nurse Amaro. It is during this time that serious failures occurred resulting in his death.

CPS spokesperson said: "Prior to his illness Jack Adcock was a lively and energetic six year old. However, due to a series of serious failures which occurred whilst he was in the care of these staff members he sadly died.

"Both members of staff failed to recognise the seriousness of Jack's condition and provide him with the necessary treatment. As a result of their failures, Jack did not receive the essential medical care he so urgently required, resulting in the worsening of his condition and tragically his death.

"The jury has today concluded that the failings in Jack's care by Dr Bawa-Garba and Staff Nurse Amaro caused his death and were so serious as to reach the high threshold for gross negligence manslaughter. Our thoughts are with Jack's family."

A third member of staff, Sister Theresa Taylor, who was also charged in relation to this case was acquitted.

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Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk.
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.