When homicide occurs within our community, it provokes strong emotions. When a child is the victim of homicide, community concern magnifies. This report provides the results of research undertaken by the Secretariat of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council as part of the formal request by the Attorney-General to examine sentencing for criminal offences arising from the death of a child (child homicide offences).
To promote a comprehensive understanding of child homicide, the Secretariat considered a range of information sources, including data from government agencies as well as the broader body of literature at state, national and international levels. This report is a descriptive analysis of the offence characteristics, victims, offenders and sentencing outcomes associated with child homicide offences finalised by Queensland criminal courts in the 12-year period between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2017. It does not provide explanations for any identified patterns or trends; however, additional legal discussion and interpretation of the data is included in the Council’s complementary consultation paper (see downloads). The Council’s final report, scheduled for completion by 31 October 2018, will include additional commentary about the data.
This research report begins with an outline of the scope and an overview of the sentenced offences examined. The report then looks at victims of child homicide and offenders sentenced by Queensland courts for child homicide, as well as what we currently know about child homicide as an offence category.