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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

Polly Chowdhury and Kiki Muddar convicted of manslaughter


Polly Chowdhury and Kiki Muddar were convicted today at the Central Criminal Court of the manslaughter of eight-year-old Ayesha Ali. Ayesha was Polly Chowdhury's daughter and lived with her mother and Kiki Muddar in a flat in Romford.

Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "Ayesha Ali died in her own home and was found to have more than 50 injuries to her body, including the head injury which caused her death. This is a place where she should have felt safe and loved but instead it was where she ultimately lost her young life.

"The manipulation and hatred directed towards Ayesha led to her being beaten and tormented for a number of months. The evidence showed that Ayesha was scared and intimidated in her own home.

"Chowdhury and Muddar have now been brought to justice for this despicable crime."


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.