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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

CPS statement on the conviction of Matthew Tvrdon in Cardiff hit-and-run case


Grenville Barker, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales said: "The distressing incidents of 19 October last year led to the tragic death of Karina Menzies, as well as life threatening and life changing injuries for a number of others.

"The events of that afternoon were also extremely traumatic for the large number of people who witnessed them unfolding on the streets of Cardiff, during a busy time when parents were collecting their children from school.

"On 24 May this year at Cardiff Crown Court, Matthew Tvrdon entered guilty pleas to a number of offences, including one charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and seven charges of attempted murder, as well as a number of other offences of violence.

"The Crown Prosecution Service carefully considered these pleas in the light of all available evidence, which included expert psychiatric reports commissioned by the prosecution as well as the defence.

"This was a sensitive and complex decision and the evidence was considered by a number of senior lawyers, including experienced Queen's Counsel. We offered to discuss these developments with all of the families affected by the attacks, and did so with those who wished to be consulted.

"We concluded that the guilty pleas, which mean Tvrdon has admitted to criminal offences in relation to all 18 victims, reflected the totality of the available evidence.

"Those affected by the events of 19 October have shown great dignity throughout the ensuing criminal justice process.

"I would like to thank them, and indeed the wider Ely community, for the manner in which they have supported the prosecution of this case.

"Many are still dealing with the physical and emotional effects of what happened last October. Our thoughts are with them as they continue the rehabilitation process and we hope that today's developments in the case will assist them."


In the immediate aftermath of the events of 19 October 2012, Matthew Tvrdon was charged with one count of murder, thirteen counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of dangerous driving.

Further alternate charges were later added to the indictment.

He has pleaded guilty to:

  • One count of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility contrary to section 2 of the  Homicide Act 1957 (amended by Coroners and Justice Act 2009)
  • Seven counts of attempted murder, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal attempts Act 1981
  • Two counts count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
  • Two counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981
  • Five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
  • One count of assault by beating, contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988
  • One count of dangerous driving contrary to section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988


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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. 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.