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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

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Stephen Port convicted of murder


A man who drugged, raped and killed four male victims has today (23 November) been convicted at the Old Bailey.

Stephen Port, 41, drugged his victims, either by spiking their drink or through other means. Four of the men died from an overdose of the drug GHB and four others were raped while unconscious.

Port, from Barking, east London, was found guilty of four counts of murder, four counts of rape, four counts of assault by penetration and 10 counts of administering a substance. He will be sentenced on Friday 25 November.

Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said: "Over a period of three years the defendant committed a series of murders and serious sexual offences against young men. Port manipulated and controlled these men through the chilling and calculated use of the drug GHB, which he administered without their permission.

"Port murdered four of his victims and his considerable efforts to cover up his connection with the men - including disposing of mobile phones, writing a fake suicide note and planting vials of the drug on their bodies - ultimately failed. He even claimed that the deceased themselves were responsible for the overdoses and in one instance accused a murder victim of carrying out one of the other killings.

"This was a technically challenging case, complicated by a significant amount of evidence taken from the numerous social media sites Port used.

"We hope his conviction brings some comfort to the families of the four young men he killed and to his other victims. This was a harrowing trial and we would like to thank everyone who has given evidence in support of the prosecution case."

Stephen Port was charged with a total of 29 counts. He was convicted of:

  • Murder x4
  • Rape x4
  • Assault by penetration x4
  • Administering a substance x10


Notes to Editors

  1. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926