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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Man convicted for attempted murder of three sisters


Philip Spence was convicted today at Southwark Crown Court for the attempted murder of three sisters at the Cumberland Hotel on 6 April 2014.

Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said: "This was a truly horrific crime which displayed a shocking level of violence.

"This family were enjoying a holiday in our city when they were brutally and viciously attacked whilst they lay sleeping in their beds. Philip Spence used a hammer to try to kill the women before stealing their belongings.

"Not only were the three sisters severely injured in the attack, their children were in the room at the time and witnessed the horror of the violence.

"I would like to praise the immense courage of the victims who gave evidence in court whilst still undergoing medical treatment for their injuries and thank them for their help in bringing Spence to justice.

"Spence refused to take responsibility for his actions and despite pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm we did not accept that this reflected the criminality of his actions which showed a clear intent to kill. The jury agreed with this and have convicted Spence of attempted murder.

"Those who live and work in the capital, and those who visit, should be able to enjoy the city without fear of violence and the CPS is committed to working with police partners to tackle and prosecute violent crime."


Philip Spence was convicted of three counts: attempted murder and conspiracy to cause aggravated burglary (with Thomas Efremi). He had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.

Thomas Efremi pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. Within hours of the aggravated burglary he used stolen bankcards to withdraw £5000. He was also convicted of a conspiracy with Philip Spence to commit aggravated burglary.

James Moss pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods. This included mobile phones, handbags and jewellery belonging to the three victims and their family.


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 three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 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.