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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

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

Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

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

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

CPS announces 'no prosecution' of Dr Rodney Gilbert


The Crown Prosecution Service today announced that no prosecution will be brought against Dr Rodney Gilbert, the consultant in charge of the care of Joshua Taylor, who died aged 15 months from hypernatraemia, an excess of salt in his body.

Alastair Nisbet, Head of the regional CPS Complex Casework Unit said: "After detailed consideration of the evidence, including a report from an independent expert who was not previously involved in the case, I have decided that there is insufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect that Dr Gilbert would be convicted of any offence arising from his medical care of Joshua or from the evidence that he gave in the trial of Marianne Williams.

"My review of the evidence also concluded that there was no realistic prospect that the NHS Trust, or any other health professional involved in the care of Joshua, would be convicted of any offence."

Joshua's mother, Marianne Williams, was acquitted by a jury in 2006 of the murder and manslaughter of Joshua by poisoning him with salt.

After her acquittal allegations were made to Wiltshire Police that Dr Gilbert's treatment of Joshua had caused his death and that he had given untruthful evidence at Ms Williams' trial.

Those allegations were investigated by Wiltshire Police and a file of evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

  1. Dr Gilbert is a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist employed by the Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust.
  2. The death of Joshua Taylor will now be referred back to the Wiltshire Coroner for his inquest to be resumed.
  3. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8079.
  4. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution;
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute;
    • Preparing cases for court;
    • Presentation of cases at court;

    The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 83.7% in 2006-2007. Further information can be found on this website.