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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

Defendants found guilty over Garry Newlove's death


Adam Swellings, Stephen Sorton and Jordan Cunliffe were found guilty at Chester Crown Court of the murder of Garry Newlove, who was killed after remonstrating with a group of teenagers outside his house about damage to his wife's car.

Ian Rushton, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Cheshire, said: "This was a callous crime commited by young men. They kicked and punched Mr Newlove to death, leaving his three daughters without a devoted dad and his wife without a loving husband.

"We proved that on the night of 10 August 2007, the defendants intended to kill or to cause serious injury regardless of any drink or drugs they may have taken. They did not stop kicking Mr Newlove even while he was lying on the ground dying from his injuries."

Mr Rushton said the death of Mr Newlove had caused immense distress not only to his family, but to the wider community where he lived.

He said: "This case is a strong warning for those young people who think they can get away with harrassing, punching and intimidating residents, never caring about the consequences of their acts.

"The Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute cases where we have sufficient evidence to show who is responsible for this kind of dreadful behaviour. Our team, in partnership with Cheshire police, worked extremely hard on this case and made great efforts to bring it before the courts as quickly as possible.

"We would like to thank those people who came forward and were prepared to give evidence in this case, especially Garry Newlove's daughters. Our thoughts now are with Mr Newlove's family."

Two other youths were found not guilty of Mr Newlove's murder.

  1. The trial started on Wednesday 14 November 2007 at Chester Crown Court.
  2. Adam Swellings, Stephen Sorton, Jordan Cunliffe and two other young defendants, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were all charged with murder.
  3. Local media inquiries to Area Communications Manager on 01244 408611 or 07816 019233; national media inquiries to CPS Press Office on 0207 796 8105.