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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

Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

Men guilty of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby

19/12/2013

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were today convicted at the Old Bailey for the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, which occurred on Wednesday 22 May 2013 in Artillery Place, Greenwich, London. They had previously pleaded guilty to one count each of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence.

Sue Hemming, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The murder of Fusilier Rigby was brutal and its perpetrators carried out one of the most savage offences ever prosecuted by our counter terrorism lawyers.

"As a soldier, this young father had dedicated his life to keeping people safe, including from the threat of terrorism. That dedication to his country cost him his life and was in stark contrast to the appalling conduct and extremist views of the men who murdered him.

"The Crown Prosecution Service will be asking the court to find that this murder was motivated by terrorism when the defendants come to be sentenced, so that all options under counter terrorism legislation are available to the judge.

"The police firearms officers showed tremendous courage and professionalism in putting a stop to further atrocities that day.  On the surface, this case was evidentially straightforward. But beyond the footage that was beamed across screens at the time of the murder, the CPS has fought hard to ensure that the defence arguments in respect of that charge were dismissed.

"I would like to pay tribute to and thank my team and the police for their dedication and hard work in bringing these men to justice.

"We recognise that this trial has been exceptionally difficult for Lee Rigby's family but I hope they can take some limited comfort from the justice achieved today and the fact that both defendants now face a very long stay in prison."

Ends

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 four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct 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 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  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.