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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

John Martin convicted of the murder of Natalia Strelchenko


John Martin was today convicted at Manchester Crown Court of the murder of his wife Natalia Strelchenko, a renowned concert pianist.

John Martin killed his wife at their home in Newton Heath, Manchester in August 2015.

Earlier that day John Martin had argued with Natalia. He lost his temper, left the house and was drinking in the garden shed, returning after midnight when he attacked Natalia by throwing her and himself down the stairs, and then strangling and beating her.

A friend of Natalia's from Poland, who was staying at the house, witnessed the attack and fled the house to get help.

David Harley, Senior Crown Prosecutor from CPS North West said: "John Martin killed his wife Natalia Strelchenko in a vicious rage in their own home. He was motivated by anger and, fuelled by alcohol, he lost his temper and violently attacked her, even admitting to her friend who tried to stop him that he wanted to kill her. It was the prosecution case that he intended to kill her or cause her very serious harm and therefore was guilty of murder.

"John Martin told the court during the trial that he couldn't remember the events of that night, but the jury have found him guilty of murder. This was an appalling crime and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Natalia Strelchenko at this time. They have shown tremendous courage throughout the trial."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief -
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly 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.