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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 Special Crime

Deaths in custody, allegations against the police, corporate manslaughter, medical manslaughter, serious public corruption, election offences, appeals to the House of Lords and extradition are just some of the types of cases dealt with by specialist Crown Prosecutors in the Special Crime Division.

Find out more about extradition

Find out more about how we prosecute bribery and corruption

Find out how we prosecute election offences

Find out more about how we deal with allegations against the police

Find out about our prosecution policy for deaths in custody

Find out about unduly lenient sentences

Nurse who gave patient the wrong blood receives suspended prison sentence


A nurse who caused the death of a 76-year-old patient by giving him the wrong type of blood has been given a suspended 18-month prison sentence.

Lea Ledesma, 49, was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence following a trial at Southwark Crown Court in December 2016.

The trial heard how Ledesma was working in the intensive care unit of the London Heart Hospital in Marylebone when the incident happened on 7 May 2014.

That morning, Ali Huseyin, who was blood type O, received a unit of AB blood during a transfusion after Ledesma mixed up his name with another patient's. Mr Huseyin died the same evening.

Daniel Jones, from the CPS, said: "Lea Ledesma made inexcusable errors which ultimately cost the life of a patient in her care. The hospital had a number of systems in place designed to prevent such incidents happening but Ledesma failed in her duty to carry out the necessary checks.

"Ledesma initially tried to lay the blame elsewhere but the evidence put forward by the prosecution showed she had been grossly negligent in her actions."

Ledesma received a custodial sentence of 18 months, suspended for two years, and a 300-hour unpaid work order.


Notes to Editors

  1. Daniel Jones is a Specialist Prosecutor with the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233