Journal article

Looking for a Needle in the Haystack: Arsonists with Intellectual Disability in Australia

Ashlee Curtis, Keith McVilly, Andrew Day

PSYCHIATRY PSYCHOLOGY AND LAW | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2015

Abstract

Arson attracts substantial penalties in Australia, reflecting the serious consequences of the crime. It is often asserted that people with intellectual disability are particularly likely to commit arson offences, and yet it is difficult to establish the prevalence in this population. This study sought to describe the characteristics of those people appearing in Australian Courts who have an intellectual disability and have been charged with arson. A search of the AustLII, LexisNexisAU and WestLawAU databases over the 10-year period from 2003 to 2013 identified 50 arson convictions reported in case law. Of these, six involved an offender with an identified intellectual disability. These offen..

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