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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 life for killing homeowner with his car


A burglar who ran over and murdered a man as he tried to stop him stealing a car from his driveway has been jailed for life.

Mike Samwell was killed when Ryan Gibbons drove over him in his own Audi S3 outside his Manchester home during a burglary in April this year.

Mr Samwell had gone outside in the early hours to investigate the noise being made during the break-in. As Gibbons tried to drive away he crashed into a gate and reversed over Mr Samwell, and then drove over him again.

Gibbons was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court this morning and told he must a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years.

The prosecution case was that Gibbons must have been aware that Mr Samwell was under the car as he twice drove over him, causing fatal injuries.

Raymond Davies, who was part of the criminal plan to break into the Mr Samwell's house and steal the car, was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for eight years.

Mark Andrews from the CPS said: "Ryan Gibbons claimed what happened was a terrible accident and that he was not aware he had driven over someone. The prosecution proved, however, that it was far from accidental.

"Through the analysis of forensic evidence, combined with the eyewitness evidence, we have shown that Gibbons must have realised Mr Samwell was under the car as he reversed and then drove forward over him again. He also must have known that doing so would cause serious injury or death.

"This is a tragic case, and our thoughts and sympathies are with all of Mike Samwell's family and friends. In particular, I would like to pay tribute to the tremendous courage of Mrs Samwell who witnessed the terrible events but was able to give evidence and help bring those responsible to justice."


Notes to Editors

  1. Mark Andrews is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS North-West
  2. Ryan Gibbons was found guilty of murder, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 27 years
  3. Raymond Davies was found guilty of manslaughter, burglary and taking a vehicle without consent and sentenced to eight years
  4. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  5. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0478. Out of Hours - 07590 617233