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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

Kevin Adams jailed for gross negligence manslaughter


A man who failed to prevent the death of a sexual partner has been jailed for two years for gross negligence manslaughter today (26 June).

Kevin Adams, 54, was convicted of the offence in relation to the death of Dohoon Kim following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Kim's body was discovered on the floor of Adams's home in Swindon on 13 June 2015. Adams had called 999 to say Mr Kim was non-responsive.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Kim had died from a combination of his airways being restricted and the effects of drugs he had taken.

Tammy Mears, from the CPS, said: "Dohoon Kim visited Kevin Adams at his home to engage in activity involving illegal drugs, restraints and the restriction of his air flow.

"Although Mr Kim allowed Adams to place him in a dangerous position, he also trusted him to ensure he came to no harm while he was unable to fend for himself.

"Adams was under a duty to make sure Mr Kim was not harmed and owed him a duty of care.

"The prosecution argued that Adams' failure in that duty was so serious it amounted to the criminal offence of gross negligence manslaughter and the jury has agreed.

"Mr Kim's tragic death was avoidable and I hope that this verdict will provide some comfort to his family and friends. I extend my deepest sympathies to them."


Notes to Editors

  1. Tammy Mears is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS Wessex
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233