GQS Solicitors

Murder/Manslaughter

The offence of murder, which involves a person of sound mind and discretion unlawfully killing another with the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm, is the most serious of crimes in England and Wales, with serious penalties for those found guilty, resulting in life-changing consequences for the accused and their families.

Our specialist criminal defence solicitors are fully aware of the stress such a charge may cause you or your loved ones. We provide a highly personal service to our clients and will ensure you are informed fully every step of the way, doing everything we can to construct a robust defence strategy to give you the best possible outcome. Our solicitors have close links with high calibre barristers, and will instruct only the best for your case. At Saunders Law, we have an enviable track record of helping clients facing the most complex and serious of allegations obtain a favourable outcome. Our solicitors are there when you need us, to fight your corner every step of the way.

For a murder offence, the Jury must decide whether they are “sure” a murder was committed by the accused. Once convicted, the accused will be sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment, and the judge will then set a minimum period that the accused must serve in prison before they can be released.

When sentencing offences causing death, the judge will pay consideration to:

  • any relevant sentencing guidelines
  • the sentence the law will allow
  • how responsible the offender was for the death
  • the serious harm cause, including the impact on the family of the victim or others
  • previous convictions, or previous good character of the offender

Manslaughter

A charge of murder may be lessened to a charge of manslaughter where it can be found that the accused had no intention to kill but where death occurred as a result of gross negligence or an illegal act (involuntary manslaughter), or where there is a suitable defence (voluntary manslaughter). Manslaughter defences to a charge of murder are usually self-defence, loss of control and diminished responsibility. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is imprisonment for life.

Self-Defence

Self-defence in murder cases will be considered as an acceptable defence if it is reasonable in the circumstances. Whether the degree of force used was reasonable in the circumstances is measured by determining if the defendant believed them to be reasonable. This means where a defendant is wrong in his estimation of the circumstances he can still rely on self-defence to reduce his charge to manslaughter if his misjudgement was genuine and reasonable.

Joint Enterprise Doctrine

If you were part of a group involved in a murder or in a plan to cause serious injury, you may be accused, even where you did not cause or inflict the injury yourself. This is known the ‘joint enterprise’ doctrine. Speak to our solicitors straight away if have found yourself in such a situation, with our expertise and experience in handling serious crime, we will leave no stone unturned to ensure you have the best defence available to you.


Voluntary Manslaughter

There are three partial defences that come under voluntary manslaughter; diminished responsibility, provocation (loss of control) and suicide pact.

For diminished responsibility to succeed, as a defence, the defendant must show that, on the balance of probabilities, the elements of diminished responsibility are in place. These are: -

  • at the time of the killing the defendant was suffering from an "abnormality of mind" arising from "arrested or retarded development" or "induced by disease or injury"
  • the abnormality led to the fatal act, and
  • the abnormality resulted in a "substantial" impairment of the defendant's mental responsibility for his actions.

For provocation to succeed as a defence that to succeed it must be proven: -

  • that the killing was the result of a sudden and temporary loss of control on the part of the accused, and
  • the loss of control resulted from something that was said or done, and
  • a 'reasonable person' might have been expected to respond the same way

Suicide pact defence reduces a murder charge to manslaughter where the survivor of a joint suicide pact, took part in the killing of another person in the pact or was a party to that other person being killed by a third person.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter occurs where a person kills, but does so without the intent to kill or cause GBH. 

There are two types of involuntary manslaughter: -

  • that caused by the defendant's gross negligence; and 
  • that caused by his unlawful or dangerous act.

Attempted Murder

For an attempted murder to take place a person must have the intention to kill another person, not just cause Grievously Bodily Harm (GBH). In most attempted murder cases there has to an attempt so serious that death may have followed from the actions of the defendant.


Our expert defence strategists have the skill and knowledge to defend our clients expertly and take pride in their commitment to client service. We understand that being accused of a serious crime can be overwhelming, which is why our team will always ensure you are always made fully aware of how your case is progressing, the best course of action and the full range of options available to you.


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Not guilty for Murder

I would have no hesitation in recommending GQS Solicitors to my family and friends. A proven track record in serious crime, “they successfully defended my mate G.R and he was acquitted of Murder

Dave Courtney O.B.E

Warwick Crown Court

Aquitted of Kidnap, Possession of Firearm

I was charged with serious offences of Kidnap, Firearms and was at risk of receiving a lengthy prion sentence. Thanks to the hard work GQS put into my case, I was found not guilty.

BI

Birmingham Crown Court [July 2017]

Drugs Importation

I would like to say a massive thank you for representation at the Crown Court. I was found not guilty after trial. Brilliant Team !!

FT

Birmingham Crown Court- June 2017

Thank You

I was found not guilty of a shooting that I did not commit. Thank you GQS for all your hard work from me and my family.

M.A

Birmingham Crown Court- January 2018

Good Represenation at the Police Station

I was represented at the police station, thanks for the proper advise, no further action was taken against me.

B.P

Solihull Police Station. 7.01.18

Miracle

My husband was expecting to go to prison for a Fraud offence, against all the odds the Judge went outside the sentencing guidelines and was gave him a suspended sentence. Thanks to the support and advice from GQS we can now carry on living with our lives.

F.A

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