The SY Marcia and the cocaine haul Pieterse smuggled on board

Drug smuggler caught with £130m of cocaine on yacht jailed

A drug trafficker who tried to import £130million worth of cocaine into Europe aboard a yacht has been sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment.

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, crossbow, ex-wife photo

Man who killed pregnant ex-wife with crossbow convicted of her murder

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, was today [Friday, 22 November] convicted of murdering thirty-five-year-old Devi Unmathallegadoo following a trial at the Old Bailey.

eBay seller pleads guilty to illegally trading endangered animal skulls

eBay seller pleads guilty to illegally trading endangered animal skulls

When officers visited his home, he showed off his vast collection of more than 50 specimens including a taxidermied rhino head, skulls of primates and gorillas, a dolphin skull, rare turtle shells - and a cabinet of human skulls.

Lady Justice

How cases are prosecuted in the CPS: From charge to conviction - a case study

The CPS prosecuted 533,161 cases last year. Here, see how we prosecuted a man for murder from the first phone call through to conviction

The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The CPS is independent, and we make our decisions independently of the police and government.

Our duty is to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, and to bring offenders to justice wherever possible.

The CPS:

  • decides which cases should be prosecuted; 
  • determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations; 
  • prepares cases and presents them at court; and 
  • provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses. 

Prosecutors must be fair, objective and independent. When deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case, our lawyers must follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This means that to charge someone with a criminal offence, prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that prosecuting is in the public interest.

Crime info

We prosecute people for hundreds of different types of crime every year. This section gives an introduction to some of the categories of offending that we are asked about most often.

Victims & witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

From reporting the crime to passing sentence we explain what happens, the role of the CPS and what you can expect from us.

Support for victims & witnesses

Prosecution guidance

This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice. 

View all prosecution guidance