September 3 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
A man accused of attempting to murder a woman in Trowse, near Norwich, 18 years ago has denied he ever meant to harm her and told a Norwich Crown Court jury that he acted in self-defence after she started attacking him.
A man accused of attempting to murder a woman in Trowse, near Norwich, 18 years ago, denied he ever meant to harm her and said he was acting in self-defence.
Peter Carroll, 55, of Aylesbury, denies attempted murder, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and raping the woman in 1996.
The woman, who worked as a prostitute at the time, claims Carroll paid for sex but then started squeezing her round the throat until she passed out.
She tried to fight him off and got some of his skin under her fingernail, but it was only after advances in DNA technology that Carroll was arrested about 18 years later. Carroll has denied all the charges.
Giving evidence at Norwich Crown Court, Carroll, who used to work as a Hotpoint engineer in Norfolk, told how he had been to a wedding reception, in Great Yarmouth, and decided to have a “bit of fun” and pick up a prostitute, in Norwich.
Carroll, who had at one time lived in Beccles, before moving back to Aylesbury, said that it was while living in the area that he had heard about Norwich’s red light area and so he knew where to go to find a prostitute.
He said after picking up the woman and driving to Trowse for sex, she suddenly started wriggling and clawing at his eyes.
“She was just scratching at me.”
He said he pressed one hand near her collar bone to try to stop her.
“I remember it like it was yesterday. It was over very quickly. She seemed to pass out because her fingers fell away. She went limp.”
He added: “I think I was just trying to protect myself. I don’t think I could have done anything else.”
Carroll said he was worried he might have hurt her.
“I thought I had done something quite bad”
He said he lifted her body from the car and placed it on the ground after checking her pulse to make sure she was alright.
“So many things were going through my mind at the time. I thought I had hurt her badly. I checked and she was still breathing. Her pulse was OK.”
He added: “I felt bad leaving her there, I really did. I did not know what else to do at the time. I just wanted to get away.”
In hindsight he now thought he could have taken her to hospital.
“It’s been on my mind for a long time. I went there for a good time and it went wrong. I never gave her permission to scratch me.”
Carroll told the jury that he had no intention to kill her or hurt her.
After the incident, Carroll said he returned to the wedding reception, in Great Yarmouth.
He said he made his own inquiries to check on the woman and said it was a “weight off his mind” when he found out she was fine.
He phoned a friend, who lived in the area and also had driven past the area on his way back to Aylesbury.
“I thought I had killed her and that is why I checked her.”
Carroll said: “She was OK when I left her.”
The trial continues.