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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

Youth sentenced for murder of Ann Maguire

03/11/2014

Peter Mann, Head of CPS Yorkshire and Humberside's Complex Casework Unit, said: "This tragic case has shocked the nation. On Monday, 28 April 2014, William Cornick, then aged 15, repeatedly stabbed Ann Maguire, his Spanish teacher, in a classroom and fatally wounded her in front of her pupils.

"While his deep-seated hatred for Ann appears incomprehensible, we are clear that he calmly and methodically planned this cold-blooded attack on her. He attacked Ann while she was helping children with their work and completely unable to protect herself. He has continued to show no remorse whatsoever.

"The Crown Prosecution Service has worked closely with West Yorkshire Police to achieve this successful prosecution. William Cornick has pleaded guilty to Ann's murder and has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.

"His terrible actions have robbed Ann Maguire's family, friends, fellow teachers and pupils of a deeply-loved wife, mother and sister, a respected friend and colleague and an inspirational teacher.

"The thousands of touching tributes paid following Ann's tragic death have clearly demonstrated the respect and devotion in which she was held by all who knew her.

"Our thoughts remain with Ann's family."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. 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.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with 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.