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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

CPS statement: Crossfire killer convicted

22/05/2008

Armel Gnango was today convicted of the murder of care worker Magda Pniewska, a wholly innocent passerby killed in a street shooting in south London last October.

Commenting on the case, CPS reviewing lawyer Jane Scholefield said the facts of the case and the legal issues it generated were unprecedented.

"Even though the defendant did not fire the fatal round and even though Magda Pniewska was not the intended target of either gunman, the defendant bears a joint criminal liability for her death

"The prosecution could not show that he fired the lethal shot but the issue was one of joint enterprise. Each fired their guns with intent to kill at a time when there were bystanders present between them."

  1. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7710 6088.
  2. Armel Gnango (d.o.b 26/5/90) was found guilty of the murder of Magda Pniewska, the attempted murder of another male and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
  3. 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.