Skip navigation

Ann Attwood

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria Law School

Ann Creaby-Attwood has expertise in forensic mental health law following over thirty years’ experience of working with people with mental illness and learning disabilities within the criminal justice system. Ann has worked as a lawyer, social worker, probation officer and now an academic specialising in this field.

Ann has established and led a unique medico-legal team based at Newcastle Crown Court, and provided specialist legal advice to advocates and Judiciary regarding complex forensic mental health law. This team received awards and nominations both from the Ministry of Justice and the NHS. Prior to this Ann was seconded to the NHS England’s Health and Justice Commissioning Team.

Ann has attended, advised, provided information to All Party Parliamentary Group, an event at the House of Lords and has advised SOCA (now National Crime Agency)

Ann has spoken at conferences both nationally and internationally and was a panel-speaker at an event hosted by the Law Commission.

Research interests surround the issue of necessity to prove sexual motivation and gratification in sexual offence.  Specifically work concentrates around the judicial direction required in relation to whether an appellant’s actions had been sexually motivated with reference to their autistic spectrum disorder. Recognition of the social impairments inherent in ASDs are vital to this work, and Ann’s research considers whether the difficulty with the capacity to develop appropriate, consenting sexual relationships as a result of impaired social cognition may be one of the factors which increases the risk of sexual offending in individuals with an autistic spectrum condition.

Along with post-graduate and under-graduate teaching, professional solicitor training and external CPD training; Ann is Programme Leader for the Graduate Diploma in Law, and module leader for the GLD-Further Area of Law and the LLM mentally disordered offender modules.

Campus Address


Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Psycho-Legal Perspective on Sexual Offending in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attwood, A., Allely, C. Nov 2017, In: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry
  • Sex offenders with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Attwood, A., Ince, C. 1 Nov 2016, Legal Perspectives on State Power: Consent and Control, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars
  • Sexual offending and autism spectrum disorders, Allely, C., Attwood, A. 14 Mar 2016, In: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour
  • Sexual Offending and Autism Spectrum Disorders; A systemic PRISMA review, Allely, C., Attwood, A. Apr 2016
  • Unfitness to Plead, Bean, D., Hopkins, N., Lewis, S., Ormerod, D., Paines, N., Mackay, R., Loughnan, A., Kayess, R., Cooper, P., Wurtzel, D., Hoyano, L., Plotnikoff, J., Woolfson, R., Peay, J., Howard, H., Keating, H., Attwood, A., Wortley, N., Tidball, M., Grubin, D., O'Mahoney, C., Lawson, A., Parry, R., Poole, R. 12 Jan 2016
  • The Sex Offender with High Functioning Autism and the Suitability of Sex Offender Treatment Programs, Attwood, A. 13 Jul 2015
  • ASD, Aspergers Syndrome and Sexual Offending, Attwood, A. 13 Mar 2014


  • Law PGDip September 02 2013
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2016

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a person sitting at a table

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

More news

Back to top