Advanced Search

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

Victorino Chua found guilty of murdering patients at Stepping Hill Hospital


Victorino Chua was found guilty today at Manchester Crown Court of the murders of Tracy Arden and Derek Weaver.

He was also found guilty of 22 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm, one count of grievous bodily harm, seven counts of attempting to administer a poison and one count of administering a poison. He will be sentenced on 19 May at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

At the time he committed the offences Victorino Chua was a nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport. All the victims were patients at the hospital on wards where he worked.

Ben Southam, CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, said: "Today Victorino Chua has been found guilty on 33 counts, including two of murder. All the offences were committed while he was a nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital and the victims were patients on the wards where he was working.

"Through the painstaking piecing together of thousands of pieces of evidence the police and the prosecution team have been able to prove that during the months of June and July 2011 Victorino Chua deliberately poisoned 21 patients by contaminating healthcare products with insulin which were then administered to them. The poisoning tragically caused the deaths of two of these patients, and a serious brain injury to another.

"He was also responsible in January 2012 for deliberately altering the medical notes of patients to increase the dosage of drugs prescribed to them. The potential harmful consequences that he must have intended to cause these patients are obvious. One patient was actually given the increased drugs dose before the forgery was discovered but thankfully recovered.

"The investigation and prosecution has been an enormous task involving the detailed analysis of thousands of pages of evidence relating to the hospital, its staff and patients, the forensic analysis of medical products and samples, expert medical evidence and many other aspects of what has been a very complex case.

"The only possible conclusion from all the evidence is that Victorino Chua, trusted as a nurse to care for sick patients at the hospital, was the person responsible for harming and, in two cases, for killing them.

"I would like to thank all the witnesses who gave evidence during the trial, particularly the victims, the relatives of the patients who died and the staff from Stepping Hill Hospital. Above all our thoughts and sympathies go out to all the victims and their families at this time."


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.