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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 - Cregan and others


Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police have been determined to bring to justice all those involved in the four murders and the attempted murders in this case.

"The murders of all four victims, Mark Short, David Short and Police constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, were nothing short of executions - planned, premeditated and cold-blooded. The blatant use of firearms and grenades put members of the public at risk of significant harm and caused fear amongst local communities.

"This has been a hugely challenging case both in its scale and complexity. Through painstaking analysis of a huge amount of evidence the CPS, prosecuting counsel and police have left no stone unturned to piece together the events and to prove who was responsible. The timescale within which a case of this size, involving so many defendants and so many murders, was brought to trial was exceptional and that was down to the dedication and commitment of everyone in the investigation and prosecution teams.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the witnesses from the local area who spoke to police, gave a statement or had the courage to give evidence at court. Their support and assistance has been vital to securing these convictions.

"Above all our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of the victims at this extremely difficult time."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.