Man accused of attempting to murder woman in Trowse almost 20 years ago

Library picture of Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd. Library picture of Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
11:41 AM

A man accused of attempting to murder a woman in Trowse, near Norwich, almost 20 years ago was arrested after advances in technology helped produce a DNA match with a fragment of skin caught under the alleged victim’s finger nail, a court has heard.

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Peter Carroll, 55, of Barnsbury Avenue, Aylesbury, Bucking-hamshire, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday accused of attempted murder, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and raping a woman in the White Horse Lane area of Trowse, Norwich, on Saturday, July 20 1996. He denies the charges.

The court heard the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, worked as a prostitute.

John Farmer, prosecuting, opened the crown’s case yesterday by telling the jury that the complainant was in the Rouen Road area of Norwich, and the defendant paid £30 for sex.

Mr Farmer said they had sex in the car but after a while the defendant “suddenly changed and suddenly became extremely violent”.

Mr Farmer said: “The violence was directed towards choking her and she was caught totally off guard, totally by surprise and wondering what on earth was going to happen.”

The jury heard the woman struck out at the defendant and got a small amount of his skin under her finger nail.

Mr Farmer said the woman lost consciousness but the defendant continued to attack her.

When she came round Mr Farmer said she was on the ground, having been taken out of the car, and was almost naked.

Two men who passed by in a car did not stop but called police.

The woman had cuts and bruising to her throat. The court heard it was not possible to get a useful DNA result at that time.

The file was “put to bed” as a complete cold case but an officer involved had his interest renewed following a review after DNA technology took a leap forward.

The sample was sent off to the lab and came back with a hit after the defendant, in the intervening years, was arrested for an assault which required him to have a DNA sample taken.

Mr Farmer said when the defendant was arrested he said the offences had nothing to do with him.

Further investigations led officers to speak to other people who stated the defendant was in the area at the time of the offence.

The trial continues.

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