Stabbings make it a record year for violent death

Jonathan Foster on Merseyside's toll of murders
Click to follow
The body of Derek Jamieson, 47, was found on 13 February in Huyton. He had been beaten with a wooden stave, the first homicide victim in a year when violent killings in Merseyside totalled 28, eight more than the previous record of 20 in 1992.

There are no suspects in two cases: one an unknown baby whose body was found in a bin in Walton, in April - she had been suffocated; the other was Julie Finlay, 23, a prostitute.

Victims were most commonly stabbed or strangled. Some, like the five-year-old boy and his grandmother strangled in Birkenhead, were allegedly killed by a close relative. Others, including the 33-year-old man found stabbed in a prosperous district of Liverpool, appeared to have been caught up in the drugs trade. In a single incident in May, three people were soaked in petrol and immolated. All three subsequently died from their burns.

After Mr Jamieson was killed, the sequence of homicides in the Merseyside was: 25 February, Anthony Scarlett, 33, stabbed to death;18 March, Colin McLachlan, 26, stabbed;20 March: Shaun Monaghan, 56, strangled; 14 April, Michael Donovan, 32, beaten and stabbed in his home; April, Infant "April" found asphyxiated in a bin;9 May, James Painter, 44, stabbed at home;25 May, Sarah Rigby, 11, strangled by a 58-year-old man; 27 May, Carla Sinnott, 28, Karen Hamblin, 32, and Richard Hamblin, 35, burned at the h ouse they shared in Anfield; 15 July, Derek Wignall, 26, stabbed to death; 31 July: Leslie Woodward, 17, stabbed; 5 August, Anne Watkinson, 59, and Miles Cooney, strangled; 6 August, Julie Finlay, 23, found strangled in Rainford; 18 August, Carole Moore

, 35, strangled and stabbed;22 August, Frank Lathom, 50, stabbed; 4 September, Peter Dunphey, 24, punched and kicked; 9 September, infant Christopher Barrett, suffocated; 22 September, Keith Jones, 37, stabbed; 28 September, Hussein Abdi Hassan, 30, throw

n over a landing; 6 October, Megan Hart, aged one, violently shaken; 8 November, Martin Edwards, strangled; 15 November, Barry Baillie, 42, died of burns; 28 November: Michael Kershaw, 41, stabbed; 21 December, Stephen Cuddy, 24, stabbed; 24 December, Wayne Waller, 34, stabbed.