§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons charged with murder have subsequently pleaded guilty to section 1 manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility in each of the past 10 years; and in how many of these cases the charges involved the killing of children;
(2) in how many cases firearms were used in the course of murders where subsequently the person charged pleaded guilty to section 1 manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
§ Mr. Brittan
The references in my hon. Friend's questions to section 1 have been taken to refer to section 2, which places on the defence the obligation to prove that a person charged with murder should not be liable to be convicted of murder but should instead be convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. The number of persons indicted for murder and convicted of section 2 manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility for offences recorded in the years 1968 to 1977 may be found in table 9.11 of "Criminal Statistics", England and Wales, 1977—Cmnd. 7289. The available information on the number of such cases where the charges involved the killing or the use of firearms is as follows:
PERSONS INDICTED FOR MURDER AND CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER BY REASON OF DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY England and Wales Number of persons Year offence initially recorded Charges involving the killing of a person aged under 16 Charges involving killing by shooting 1968 10 1 1969 14 2 1970 18 3 1971 16 5 1972 27 6 1973 20 1 1974 26 9 1975 10 8 1976 21 4 1977 17 5