Gary Nolan

Contact details

Gary Nolan BSc (hons)
MA 126
Michael Atiyah Building
Department of Engineering
University of Leicester
Leicester LE1 7RH
Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 2574


  • BSc (Hons) Forensic Anthropology, University of Dundee, UK 2005-2009

PhD Abstract

Quantification of forces used in stabbing
Death by stabbing is the most common way of committing murder in the UK.

The challenge for forensic pathologists is to accurately answer the question of how much force was used to create a particular wound. The problem is complex and this studentship aims to address the fundamental aspects of the problem by relating knife aspects, such as knife geometry, to the forces required.
The studentship will in particular look at
i) Developing an instrumented knife to assess how much force is required for knife penetration into skin
ii) Development of a new method of assessing forces involved in stabbings
iii) Relating the force required to forces in everyday actions, i.e. how can we relate the degree of force to degree of violence? This will involve assessing forces generated by a range of body types and male and female assailants.
iv) Understanding the “walked into it” scenario, how feasible is this as a defence?
v) How do we communicate degree of violence in court, what scale can be developed that is easily understandable by a jury?


  • Nolan G, Lawes S, Hainsworth S, Rutty, G. A study considering the force required for broken glass bottles to penetrate a skin stimulant (2012) International Journal of Legal Medicine, 126 (1), pp. 19-25.
  • Nolan G, Hainsworth SV, Rutty GN. Forces Required for a Knife to Penetrate a Variety of Clothing Types. Journal of Forensic Sciences. (Accepted. Due to be published March 2013)

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East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit
Level 3, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester, LE2 7LX
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3221
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3274

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