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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

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Edward Tenniswood sentenced for the rape and murder of India Chipchase


Edward Tenniswood (52) was today convicted and has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of India Chipchase in Northampton.

On 29 January, India Chipchase (20) had been on a night out with friends at the NB nightclub on Bridge Street, Northampton, when Tenniswood approached her outside the venue. He acted as if he was a friend trying to get her home because she was intoxicated with alcohol. He then took her in a taxi to his house, where he raped and murdered her.

Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands said: "The abduction, rape and murder of India Chipchase were devastating for all who knew her. Edward Tenniswood is clearly a highly dangerous and manipulative man, who pursued his own self-interest and preyed on his young female victim.

"Tenniswood concocted an elaborate web of lies to try to cover up his criminal actions in court. The truth of this case is that India Chipchase could not and did not consent to anything that night. Tenniswood abducted her, raped her and then killed her.

"My sympathies are with India's family at this difficult time. It is a tragedy that a young woman with her life ahead of her was taken from those who love her in such a heartless manner."


The prosecution's case was that India Chipchase had gone to NB nightclub on a night out with friends. While intoxicated she was separated from her friends and staff at the club tried to get her to take a taxi home.

Tenniswood arrived at the club and acted as if he was trying to get in. When he was refused entry, he targeted Ms Chipchase, making it look to witnesses as if he knew her. He led her away from the club and into a taxi. He took her to his house, where he raped and killed her. He then left the house and went to a local hotel, where he was found by police officers after India's body had been found in his house.

In his defence, Tenniswood fabricated a story that the encounter had been consensual and that Ms Chipchase's death had been an accident.

He was convicted by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court and sentenced to life imprisonment and will serve a minimum of 30 years.

Additional information:

Edward Tenniswood was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder; 30 years minimum. To run concurrently he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for rape.


Notes to Editors

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  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926