Advanced Search

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

CPS decision to charge Lion Steel Ltd in second corporate manslaughter case


Alison Storey, reviewing lawyer in the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said:

"I have advised Greater Manchester Police to charge Lion Steel Ltd in Manchester with corporate manslaughter following the tragic death of Steven Berry at the Hyde site on Johnson Brook Road when he fell through a fragile roof panel and died as a result of injuries sustained in the fall. I have also decided that three of the company directors - Kevin Palliser, Richard Williams and Graham Coupe - should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

"The three men are also charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety at work of their employees. Lion Steel is also charged under section 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety at work of its employees.

"I have taken this decision after very carefully reviewing the material gathered in the police investigation and have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to bring these charges."

The first hearing will take place at Tameside Magistrates' Court on the 2 August 2011.