Advanced Search

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

London sports club sentenced for corporate manslaughter over banana boat ride


Princes Sporting Club Limited today pleaded guilty to section 1(1) of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 following the death of an 11-year-old girl resulting from a water sports activity organised on 11 September 2010 on Back Lake, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont, Middlesex. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £134,579.69.

Elizabeth Joslin of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime Division said: "This is a tragic case in which 11-year-old Mari-Simon Cronje died during a birthday party at Princes Sporting Club Ltd.

"Today's guilty plea to corporate manslaughter is an acknowledgement that there were significant failings in the way water sports were organised at this club.

"This was a gross breach of the duty of care owed to Mari-Simon which could have been avoided by having a competent adult in the towing boat acting as an observer and we are pleased this company has been held criminally accountable for this significant failing.

"We sincerely hope that the message of this case is clearly understood by all parts of the leisure industry offering similar rides.

"Our thoughts are with Mari-Simon's parents and brother at this 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 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:
  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.