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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

Woman jailed for manslaughter after man died when he was hit by a tram


A woman who pushed a stranger off a station platform causing him to be fatally injured by a tram has been jailed for five years.

Charissa Brown-Wellington, 31, pushed Philip Carter towards tram tracks following a brief argument at Manchester Victoria train station on 11 June. The pair were not known to each other.

Mr Carter, 30, fell between the platform and the moving tram and died following the collision.

Brown-Wellington was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court today (31 October) after admitting manslaughter at a hearing on 22 September at the same court.

She was given a three-year extended licence period in addition to the five-year prison sentence.

Nicky Moore of the CPS said: "This is a tragic case where a man lost his life following a brief argument with a complete stranger at a busy train station.

"Charissa Brown-Wellington used unnecessary force to push Mr Carter. He had no opportunity to defend himself and was crushed between the platform and the tram.

"We originally authorised that she was charged with murder. We accepted her plea to manslaughter at an earlier hearing as we recognised that she did not intentionally push the victim under a tram, but did so after she lost her temper during the argument. She must now face up to the consequences of her reckless actions as she begins this prison sentence.

"I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Carter."


Notes to Editors

  1. Charissa Brown-Wellington (dob: 19/05/1986) pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter
  2. Nicky Moore is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North-West
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233