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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

Trio convicted following murder of Ealing man Rory Anderson


A man who removed clothing and a mobile phone from his fatally wounded victim in an attempt to avoid his detection and arrest has been convicted of murder.

Woolwich Crown Court heard that Alex Azadbakht, 25, stabbed Rory Anderson four times in the back and chest with a screwdriver or similar weapon in Ealing, west London, in March this year and then tried to cover his tracks by getting rid of the evidence.

Azadbakht and fellow defendants Jermaine Lewis and Stephan Bassily, both 21, were also convicted (on 20 October) of perverting the course of justice. The weapon and Rory Anderson's mobile phone and clothing have never been recovered.

Navnit Dosanjh, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said: "The prosecution was able to use CCTV footage and witness statements to piece together the defendants' movements in court and bring about these convictions. Azadbakht and his accomplices are now facing significant prison terms.

"What began as a gathering in a flat in Ealing ended in tragedy. Rory was attacked inside the flat and made his way outside where he called the police for help. When the defendants saw how badly hurt Rory was, they made no attempt to help him, and instead stripped him of his phone and clothing in an attempt to mislead the police and fled the scene.

"Our sympathies go to Mr Anderson's family at this difficult time."


Sentences given on 21 October at Woolwich Crown Court:

  • Azadbakht was given a life sentence for the murder, with a minimum term of 20 years, and four and a half years (concurrent) for perverting the course of justice
  • Jermaine Lewis and Stephan Bassily both received 4 years imprisonment for perverting the course of justice.


Notes to Editors

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  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926