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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 convicted of murdering sister

30/01/2013

Tony McCluskie was today convicted at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of his sister Gemma McCluskie.

Alison Saunders, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "This was an extremely distressing and violent case. McCluskie used all means possible to divert suspicion away from himself, giving false hope to family and friends. After committing the crime on 1 March 2012, he filed a missing person's report and gave false information to the police.

"The strong case against McCluskie led to him admitting unlawfully killing his sister and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, saying it was not intentional and that he had lost control.

"But the prosecution did not accept his plea to manslaughter. We felt that the evidence of brutality showed a deliberate intent to cause death or serious bodily harm to Gemma, which amounts to murder.

"CPS London will robustly prosecute offenders to ensure that convictions reflect the nature of the crime.

"Our thoughts are with those who have been doubly affected by this tragedy."

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