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

Man convicted of murder following knife attack on asylum seeker


A man who stabbed his neighbour to death in a racially motivated and unprovoked attack has today (17 October) been convicted of murder at Bristol Crown Court.

Jeffrey Barry, 56, from Bristol, attacked Kamil Ahmed in the early hours on 7 July 2016, stabbing him over 40 times and mutilating his body.

The pair lived in separate flats at a shared property providing residential care and support.

Barry had previously been racist towards Mr Ahmed, a Kurdish asylum seeker from Iran who had lived in the property for around two years, and had previously assaulted and threatened to kill him.

At around 1am on 7 July, several hours after returning to the Wells Road property, Barry entered Mr Ahmed's flat armed with a knife and killed him. After the fatal attack, Barry called police to tell them what he had done. When police arrived, they found Mr Ahmed in his bedroom, having been repeatedly stabbed and mutilated.

Barry's defence claimed the fatal assault was a result of his mental health and claimed diminished responsibility arguing this was manslaughter.

He will be sentenced in due course.

John Penny from the CPS said: "Mr Ahmed was subjected to a horrendous attack by Jeffrey Barry, and our thoughts are with his family and those who knew him.

"The jury have dismissed the partial defence of diminished responsibility and decided this was murder, not manslaughter.

"They made that decision on the basis of expert psychiatric advice along with the Crown's evidence of Barry's long-standing animosity towards Mr Ahmed, which was based in large part on Barry's racist views."


Notes to Editors

  1. John Penny is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West
  2. Jeffrey Barry pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter at Bristol Crown Court
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  4. For media enquiries please call 020 3357 0478. Out of Hours - 07590 617233