The BBC is reporting that a man has been arrested on “suspicion of manslaughter” over the on-ice hockey death of Adam Johnson. That man is of course Matt Petgrave.
Many have concluded that Petgrave has been charged with manslaughter.
That’s not the case.
He was arrested but not charged.
There are a number of possible outcomes when arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, including being released, detained, released while still under investigation or criminally charged.
The South Yorkshire Police’s investigation is ongoing. The Police have indicated that they have been “speaking to highly specialised experts in their field” to determine if charges are appropriate under the circumstances.
As part of that investigation, they will speak to Petgrave. When questioned, Petgrave does not have to answer any questions asked by police. As well, he should not participate in any police interview without legal representation.
When arrested, the officer would have told Petgrave the offence or offences he was accused of committing. They would also have been required to deliver the following police caution:
“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
As I wrote here, there is a reasonable basis upon which to charge Petgrave with involuntary manslaughter. For now, however, the investigation remains ongoing and Petgrave has yet to be charged.