Homicide convictions in different age-groups: A national clinical survey

Isabelle M. Hunt, Ashim B Nicola Swinson, Sandra Flynn, Adrian J. Hayes, Alison Roscoe, Cathryn Rodway, Tim Amos, Nav Kapur, Louis Appleby, Jenny Shaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The purpose of this study was to examine the social, clinical and forensic characteristics of all convicted homicide perpetrators by different age-groups over an 8-year period (1997-2004) in England and Wales. Perpetrators aged under 25 were more likely to use hitting or kicking compared to other offenders, and their victims were more often young, male and a stranger. In contrast, perpetrators aged 65 and over were most likely to use strangulation/suffocation and the victim was more often a female and a family member or spouse. In younger perpetrators, drug and alcohol misuse and previous violence were more common. Older perpetrators had high rates of affective disorder and were more likely to be mentally ill at the time of the offence. Targeting substance and alcohol misuse and street violence may reduce homicide risk in younger people. Preventing homicide among the elderly might be best achieved through more specialised GP training to improve recognition and treatment of depression. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)321-335
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • Age-groups
    • Homicide
    • Mental illness
    • Older offenders
    • Outcome
    • Violence
    • Youth offenders


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