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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

Sentencing for first corporate manslaughter conviction relating to a care home


A care home company, Sherwood Rise Limited, has been fined £30,000 for corporate manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court in respect of the death of 86-year-old Ivy Atkin on 22 November 2012, following her stay at the Autumn Grange Residential Home in Nottingham.

Yousaf Khan, aged 47, a director of Sherwood Rise Limited, who was in charge of the day-to-day operation of Autumn Grange, was sentenced to three years and two months after pleading guilty to gross negligence manslaughter. He was also disqualified from being a company director for eight years. Mohammed Khan, who was employed as the Manager at Autumn Grange, was sentenced to one year imprisonment suspended for two years for a breach of sections 3 and 37 under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 5 years.

Specialist Prosecutor, Elizabeth Reid said: "Ivy Atkin died from pneumonia, brought about by debility and low body mass index, she weighed just 3st 12lbs when she died.

"Mrs Atkin was a vulnerable person who was dependent upon the defendants in this case to care for her. They all owed a duty of care to Ivy and the other residents of Autumn Grange; despite intervention, guidance and warnings from outside agencies and concerns raised by staff, the defendants failed in that duty. They failed to provide adequate personal care, nutrition, accommodation and support.

"Yousaf Khan was fully aware of the state of affairs that existed at Autumn Grange, knew of the concerns raised and had responsibility to take steps to remedy those concerns in order to ensure the health and safety of the residents. Mohammed Khan, who was unqualified and inexperienced, also failed to take active steps to address the needs of residents and his neglect contributed to the decline in standards at Autumn Grange. The condition in which Ivy was found when Autumn Grange was closed down, and the conditions inside Autumn Grange itself, were truly shocking. What occurred in this case was both avoidable and, as the company has conceded, shameful."

Ivy's death was caused by neglect. She and the other residents were removed from Autumn Grange on 4 November 2012 when it was closed down after appalling and intolerable conditions were discovered. At that time, Mrs Atkin was in an extremely poor state of health, which was, in effect, irreversible.


Notes to Editors

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  3. 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.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly 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.