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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

Georgia Williams murderer jailed for life

19/12/2013

Jamie Reynolds has today been sentenced to life imprisonment at Stafford Crown Court after he had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the murder of Telford teenager, Georgia Williams.

The 17-year-old victim went missing from her home on 26 May 2013 and following a search by police, her body was found in woodland near Wrexham five days later.

The 22-year-old defendant, who lived with his family a few hundred yards from where Georgia lived with her family, had lured the victim to his home on a fabricated modelling job because he had told her he wanted to pursue a career in photography.

Once she was at his home, he then proceeded to kill her and sexually assault her.

Reynolds then used his step-father's van and plotted a course north to dispose the body. His plan was to get rid of the victim's body, return home and claim that he did not know what had happened to Georgia. He transported the body nearly 50 miles from the scene of the crime and he then dumped her body in a wooded area.

On 28 May 2013 the victim was reported missing by her family and the police investigation began. The defendant, who after disposing the body had driven to Scotland in his step-father's van, was arrested early the next morning in Glasgow.

As a result of an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme, Georgia's body was found on 31 May 2013 in woodland in North Wales.

The defendant was brought back to West Mercia where he was charged with the murder of Georgia Williams.

Martha Secker, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Jamie Reynolds is a very dangerous sexual predator who targeted a young victim for his own gratification.

"He knew Georgia and he lured her to his home under the false pretext of carrying out a photo shoot for a media project which he claimed he was working on. She went with the kindest and best of motives. She did not know she was going to meet a man who not only had a fascination and obsession with violent sexual pornography, but who intended to kill her.

"She did not return home that night. Reynolds had discovered weeks before what the code was to her phone and accessed it that night to send text messages to her parents which led them to believe she was alive and with friends. In fact by that time she was dead and he had sexually abused her dead body and taken photographs of it.

"The consequence of his obsession ultimately left him with no choice but to plead guilty to his heinous crime.

"He is a dangerous man obsessed by sexual sadism.

"We hope that today's sentence and the knowledge that criminal proceedings have ended will bring some relief to Georgia's family. The pain and grief they have endured and will endure is unimaginable. Our thoughts are with them."

Ends

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 CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. 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.