The investigation, assessment and formulation of stranger sexual violence

Research Institution / Organisation

Liverpool John Moores University

In Collaboration With

National Crime Agency

Principal Researcher

Paul V. Greenall

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

January 2010

Research Context

This is a PhD by published works which presents a portfolio of academic papers (see below) which have been published in peer reviewed journals. The thesis is primarily concerned with behavioural and motivational diversity (or 'heterogeneity') among similar types of sex offenders, which can be identified by a detailed analysis of their offending. The papers examine various topics, e.g. mentally disordered sex offenders, stranger rapists, index offence analysis and stranger sexual homicide. In doing this the thesis achieves three aim: 1) Explores the diversity of these distinctive samples of sex offenders, 2) Illustrates how information relating to the index offence can be included in clinical assessments so the context, circumstance, causes and meanings of interpersonal violence can be understood, and can inform the case formulation, and 3) Considers how the findings can assist criminal investigations and forensic clinical practice.

Research Methodology

The papers within this portfolio utilise case file information from secure hospitals and data supplied by the National Crime Agency. Along with descriptive statistics, offence motivation is explored using thematic analysis and the Massachusetts Treatment Centre Rapist Typology (MTC:R3) and offence behaviours (and in one study previous histories) are analysed using multidimensional scaling. One or two other papers involve exploring the existing research in this area.  The PhD was completed in 2015, however the research into stranger sexual homicide is continuing.

Interim reports and publications

​Greenall, P. V. & West, A. G. (2007). A Study of Stranger Rapists from the English High Security Hospitals. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 13(2), 151-167. 

Greenall, P. V. & Jellicoe-Jones, L. (2007). Themes and Risk of Sexual Violence among the Mentally Ill: Implications for Understanding and Treatment. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22(3), 323-337. 

Greenall, P. V. (2007). Sexual Offending and Antisocial Personality: Exploring the Link. British Journal of Forensic Practice, 9(3), 24-30. 

West, A. G. & Greenall, P. V. (2011). Incorporating Index Offence Analysis into Forensic Clinical Assessment. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16(1), 144-159. 

Greenall, P. V. (2012). Understanding Sexual Homicide. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 18(3), 335-354. 

Greenall, P.V. & Richardson, C. (2015) Adult Male-on-Female Stranger Sexual Homicide: A Descriptive (Baseline) Study from Great Britain, Homicide Studies, 19(3), 237-256.

Greenall, P.V and Wright, M (2015) Exploring the Criminal Histories of Stranger Sexual Killers, The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 26(2), 242-259.

Greenall, P.V. (2018) Stranger sexual homicide. In Proulx, J., Beauregard, E., Carter, A.J., Mokros, A., Darjee, R. & James, J. (Eds) Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Homicide Studies (pp. 154-170). London: Routledge.

Date due for completion

March 2020
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