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Murder and Manslaughter

Murder and Manslaughter solicitors

We are a leading law firm specialising in defending allegations of murder and manslaughter.

Berris Law Solicitors have significant experience of defending people charged with murder.

These cases can vary greatly, from a ‘one on one’ fight where tragically the victim dies, to an organised gangland execution, or a group incident where all participants (whether administering the fatal injury or not) are charged as part of a joint enterprise.

Berris have dealt with many types of murder cases. Some murder cases end up as manslaughter, other cases are charged as manslaughter.

At Berris we undertake a thorough analysis of the evidence and consider all issues pertinent to each case. Remember it is for the prosecution to prove the case. The types of evidence relied on will vary in complexity depending on the type of case.

Where there are eye-witnesses to the incident they will invariably be interviewed and where possible relied on by the prosecution. Additionally the prosecution may obtain CCTV, telephone records, cell site analysis, ANPR evidence of vehicle movement, or forensic evidence in the form of DNA, fingerprints, or gunpowder residue. It may be necessary for us to instruct an approved expert in one of the above fields in order to comment on, check and sometimes challenge the prosecution’s assertions.

If you require representation when arrested or charged with this most serious offence please contact Berris Law.

Common issues in murder/manslaughter cases:

To be guilty of murder the prosecution have to prove not only that you committed or participated in the act alleged but also that you intended to kill or to cause really serious harm to the victim. It is less common for a person to be charged from the outset with manslaughter although this can happen, where it is alleged that the accused person is responsible for victim’s death but did not intend to kill that person or to cause them really serious harm.

Psychiatric/psychological issues
In some cases, an accused person may accept responsibility for victim’s death but denies the requisite intent to kill or cause really serious harm and pleads guilty to manslaughter. Such a case may involve an exploration of the accused’s mental state at the time of the offence which requires the instruction of a psychiatrist or psychologist to assess the accused.

Sometimes, manslaughter is the verdict of the jury in a trial as an alternative to murder, where, for example, they are sure that the accused person caused the death of the victim or was responsible for it, but they were not sure that he or she intended to kill or to cause really serious harm. On other occasions, the issue may be much more straightforward. The defence case might be one of self-defence where the accused acted in a proportionate and reasonable way in defending himself or another.

There may also be issues of causation. For example was it the accused person’s actions which caused the victim to die or was there another intervening act.

The accused may in fact simply be disputing that he was even present at all at the scene of the incident. He may have an alibi.

Joint Enterprise
More complex issue concerns ‘Joint enterprise’ where the accused person is said to have been part of a group activity where his actions may have simply been to encourage others to commit the act of murder. The prosecution would have to prove that even though he may not have been the assailant, he shared the same intention of killing or causing really serious harm to the victim.

Conspiracy to murder
In a so called ‘gangland’ type murder, the accused need not be the person who ‘pulled the trigger’, he might have lured the victim to his death, he may be the getaway driver, he may have supplied the gun knowing its intended use, he may have planned it, organised it or ordered the ‘hit’.

Within Berris Law, Julian Hayes and Seema Dosaj deal with serious crime such as murder, and as part of the process of defending a person accused of murder we instruct approved barristers who have significant experience of such cases.

Recent murder/manslaughter cases include:

– R v Hughes and others (2020) : read more >

– R v Mohammadi (2018) : read more >

– R v Arshid and others (2017) : read more >

– R v Lake and others : read more >

– Raymond Andes : read more >


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We know that no two cases are ever the same and we are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process with tailored solutions which work for you. Fill out the form to request your free consultation today.

The office is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm Mondays to Fridays excluding bank holidays. In the event your call is urgent and require us out of hours please either telephone us on 020 3325 7415 or email us on info@berrislaw.co.uk or complete the online form. All are monitored 24/7.


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