Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou

What characterizes children’s
testimonies that proceed to
prosecution as compared with those
that do not?
The Cyprus Journal of Sciences, Vol. 12, 2014
Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou
Research Fellow in the Psychology of Violence and Interpersonal Aggression, Coventry University
Intelligence Analyst on Children Testimonies, CID Cyprus Police
Senior Researcher, NGO Domestic Violence Cyprus
[email protected]
Importance of Children’s Testimonies
• 2/3 of cases only source of evidence
(Kyriakidou, 2011)
• Unambiguous evidence or third
testimonies do not usually exist
(O’Keefe, 2004)
• Judges and juries rely heavily on
testimonials in deciding the outcome
of a trial (Porter & Brinke, 2009)
Prosecution Rates
• 1 to 16 % of all police cases
involving children get
prosecuted (Sedlak, et al. 2006)
• unsatisfactory and misleading
evidence (Ashworth, 1998;
• 1/5 in England and Wales (in
1997) proceeded to
prosecution (Gallagher & Pease,
• weaknesses often arise during
a trial (Leng, 1993).
• less convincing when
inappropriate questions have
been used (Lindsay et al. 2010)
Baldwin & Bedward, 1991)
Question Types
Oxburgh et al. 2010; p.53
Interviewer’s Experience
Interviewers’ experiences did not
affect the use of inappropriate
questions (Myklebust & Bjorklund,
Research Questions
Prosecution Rates
Prosecution Rates
Inappropriate Questions
Prosecution Rates
Appropriate Questions
Prosecution Rates
Sample 46 Testimonies
• M= 10.11, SD=3.35
– 3 -16 years old
• Prosecution rates
– 27 proceeded to prosecution,
– 6 did not proceed,
– 13 still under investigation or
• Interviewers experience:
– 22 interviewers had 3 years or
less experience in interviewing
– 24 interviewers had 4 to 6 years
of experience in interviewing
Research Questions
Prosecution Rates
U=34, p =.028, r=.38
Prosecution Rates
U=71.5, p=.657. r= .07 Inappropriate Questions
Prosecution Rates
U=71, p= .639, r= .08
Prosecution Rates
U=68, p=.535, r= .2
Appropriate Questions
• Number of evidence the most significant factor
influencing whether a case was prosecuted
– Informative testimonies (Wood & Garven, 2000)
• Not consider whether evidence came from
inappropriate questions that may produce
inaccurate information
–Base their decision mostly on the amount and not on
the quality of evidence
–Efficiency of police department report
Improve police records
Future study after
improvement of police
Ensure quantity and
quality of evidence
Intelligence analysts help
on providing an opinion
on the quality of evidence
Thank you
Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou
[email protected]

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