Woman tells how she “fought for her life” in Norwich attack

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd. Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Thursday, May 29, 2014
6:57 AM

A woman told Norwich Crown Court how she tried to fight off a man, who attacked her by grabbing her round the throat until she passed out. The woman said she scratched at his face and felt she was “fighting for her life”.

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A woman told a jury how she “fought for her life” after a man squeezed her by the throat until she passed out, after they went to an isolated area in Trowse, near Norwich, for sex.

The woman, who said she had been forced to work as a prostitute, was picked up by the man in the Rouen Road area, of Norwich, and after he paid her £30, they drove to Trowse to have sex in the car.

The attack happened about 18 years ago, but it was only after advances in technology helped produce a DNA match with a fragment of skin caught under the alleged victim’s fingernail that a man was arrested.

Peter Carroll, 55, of Barnsbury Avenue, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is accused of attempted murder, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and raping a woman in the White Horse Lane area of Trowse, on July 20, 1996. He denies the charges.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, gave evidence at Norwich Crown Court from behind a screen. She said as they were having sex, he suddenly changed and started to squeeze her by the throat until she passed out.

She tried to fight him off by scratching out at him and said “I was trying to fight for my life.”

When she woke up she said she was naked, lying on the ground and cash had gone from her bag.

“I felt like I had just been in a dream. It did not seem real. My head hurt.”

She said she got up and started walking towards Trowse. Two men who passed by in a car stopped and she asked them to get help and then a second car with a couple came to her aid, and gave her some clothing to wear and took her to Bethel Street police station.

She said when she got the police station she felt sick and was taken to hospital were she was found to suffer from bruising and a lump to her head and a black eye.

She said there was scratches to her throat and cuts and bruises to her body.

She said it took her few months to get over the physical effects of the attack, but even now she cannot wear scarves or anything around her neck as feels she is choking.

The woman also never worked as a prostitute after the attack and told the jury how it was not a “lifestyle choice” but she had been forced into working by others, who would take any cash she earned.

In cross-examination by John Swain, defending, she denied that she was the one who suddenly started scratching and clawing at Carroll and he had put on hand on her to push her away.

“I tried to scratch him when he was attacking me.”

Mr Swain also put it to her that her description of her attacker did not match Carroll.

The trial continues.

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