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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

Man jailed for knife and hammer attack which caused the death of a woman


A man who let himself into a couple's home, slept in their bed and then attacked them with a hammer and knife, killing a woman has been sentenced to 13 years in prison today (9 October).

Keiran Wathan, 24, entered the home of Wayne and Sheila Morgan in Swansea on 11 March whilst Mrs Morgan was watching television downstairs and Mr Morgan was out.

Wathan was found upstairs later in the evening by Mrs Morgan who alerted her husband. Mr Morgan brought a small hammer upstairs as he attempted to pull Wathan from the bed.

But Wathan, who was thought to be under the influence of drink and drugs, then attacked Mr and Mrs Morgan with the hammer and the knife, causing serious injuries, before fleeing the scene.

Mrs Morgan deteriorated after surgery on her injured arm due to infection and later died in hospital.

Andrew Smith, from the CPS, said: "Wathan callously attacked Mr and Mrs Morgan in their own home after letting himself in and falling asleep in their bed.

"Both were seriously injured and Mrs Morgan's wounds eventually caused her death. Before this, Mrs Morgan was able to give an account of the evening and this, along with the other evidence presented by the CPS, saw Wathan plead guilty to manslaughter.

"Our thoughts are with Mrs Morgan's family."


Notes to Editors

  1. Andrew Smith is a prosecutor for CPS Wales
  2. Keiran Wathan pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article at Swansea Crown Court
  3. He pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter and this was accepted
  4. He received 13 years for manslaughter with a further five years to be served on licence, six years concurrently for wounding with intent and 12 months concurrently for possession of a bladed article. A count of murder and unlawful wounding will remain on file
  5. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  6. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233