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Murder is generally referred to as the unlawful killing of a person with intent.

This report is part of the Sentencing Spotlight series. These publications present statistics on sentencing outcomes for offences finalised in Queensland courts. Our Sentencing Spotlight on murder, defined under section 302 of the Criminal Code, provides insight into cases sentenced between July 2005 and June 2016.

Our research found:

  • murder was relatively infrequent — 195 offenders were sentenced for murder over the 11-year period
  • 185 offenders were adults, while 10 were aged under 17 at the time of the offence, of which 4 were dealt with as an adult and 6 were dealt with as a child
  • all offenders dealt with as an adult received a sentence of life imprisonment. Of the six offenders dealt with as a child, two received a life sentence and four received sentences of 8, 10, 12 and 14 years
  • the vast majority of offenders sentenced for murder were male (93.3%)
  • the average age of all offenders at the time of sentencing was 37 years: the average age of male offenders was 36.6 years and female offenders 42.8 years
  • in the vast majority of cases (82.1%), the offender was known to the victim in some way
  • the majority of offenders entered a plea of not guilty (72.3%)
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders comprised 18.5% of offenders
  • just under 10% of offenders were charged with multiple murders
  • murder was the most serious offence for which offenders were sentenced, with the most common additional offence being either deprivation of liberty or false imprisonment.

Read the media release

Technical paper

Our technical paper explains important terminology, data sources, counting rules and methodologies for our research publications.
Download technical paper (PDF, 139.3 KB)