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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

Couple convicted over baby death

20/04/2017

A couple who tried to cover up the death of their three-month-old baby by carrying her lifeless onto a bus have been convicted of causing or allowing her death.

Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, gave a thumbs up sign to his partner Rosalin Baker, 25, as she boarded a London bus in east London on 28 September 2016 carrying the body of their daughter Imani in a sling.

On the bus Baker made various phone calls, before enlisting the help of another passenger by saying that there was something wrong with her baby. However, when the paramedics arrived they realised she had been dead for some time, and the hospital team identified a number of signs of injury.

A post-mortem investigation revealed Imani had a fractured skull, a fractured right wrist, and multiple broken ribs consistent with non-accidental injury.

Both were found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court today [20 April].

CPS reviewing lawyer from the London homicide team Devi Kharran said: "These verdicts bring to an end a tragic case.

"The medical evidence showed that before she died, Baby Imani suffered a number of separate and violent assaults, including one which fractured her skull, damaged her brain and ultimately ended her life.

"Despite a large number of very serious and painful injuries which would have been very obvious, neither of her parents sought medical help. Instead her lifeless body was carried onto a crowded London bus to disguise the true circumstances of her death.

"Witnesses have told the court of the shock and distress on that bus once Imani's lifeless body was discovered. Passengers and passers-by came forward to try to save Imani.

"This deeply affected a number of them and adds to the cruelty displayed in this horrible crime.

"We would like to thank those who tried to help on the day including members of the public and the emergency services, some of whom later gave evidence in support of this prosecution."

Baker and Wiltshire will be sentenced on 18 May.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Rosalin Baker, 25, [28/07/1991] guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child
  2. Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, [20/06/1964] guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233