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Homicide: Convictions

Justice written question – answered on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convictions for offences of (a) murder, (b) rape and (c) unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor there have been in each year since 1997; and what proportion of such convictions followed a guilty plea at the first instance in each such year.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

Defendants pleading guilty at the Crown court for either, murder, rape or sexual activity with a child, the total number of offenders found guilty for these offences and the proportion of convictions where a guilty plea was given, England and Wales 1997 to 2010 are shown in the table.

It is not possible to determine from the Ministry of Justice court proceeding database at what stage a defendant pleaded guilty or not guilty.

Defendants pleading guilty at the Crown Court for either, murder, rape or sexual activity with a child, the total number of offenders found guilty for these offences and the proportion of convictions where a guilty plea was given, England and Wales 1997 to 2010 (1,2)
Offence and outcome 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Murder                            
Found guilty 275 256 252 261 285 324 277 361 394 372 369 439 376 346
No. of guilty pleas 27 44 49 40 55 55 60 90 92 87 96 84 87 72
Proportion of convictions where a guilty plea was given (%) 10 17 19 15 19 17 22 25 23 23 26 19 23 21
                             
Rape                            
Found guilty 615 674 654 593 569 651 671 748 787 854 860 913 984 1,037
No. of guilty pleas 231 237 246 215 213 258 259 310 361 395 385 406 443 466
Proportion of convictions where a guilty plea was given (%) 38 35 38 36 37 40 39 41 46 46 45 44 45 45
                             
Sexual activity with a child (3)                            
Found guilty 167 179 155 164 168 177 198 268 522 726 694 780 801 902
No. of guilty pleas 145 163 139 139 152 165 181 244 435 584 575 626 658 744
Proportion of convictions where a guilty plea was given (%) 87 91 90 85 90 93 91 91 83 80 83 80 82 82
(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Prior to 2003 sexual activity with a child was classed as unlawful sexual intercourse with a child under Sexual Offences Act 1956. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

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