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10 June 2014, 05:51
A 55 year old man's been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman in Norwich more than 17 years ago.
Peter Carroll, who used to live in Beccles but now lives in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, was tracked down by police who were looking at an unsolved case review.
Carroll attacked the 20-year-old victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, during the evening of Saturday 20 July 1996.
Appearing at Norwich Crown Court yesterday (9 June) Carroll was found guilty of rape. The jury were unable to reach a majority verdict on the charge of attempted murder but found him guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.
Carroll had taken the victim, who he had met earlier, to the White Horse Lane area of Trowse where he raped, attacked and attempted to strangle her in his car.
Despite her being four months pregnant at the time of the attack, Carroll left the victim unconscious before driving away from the scene.
The victim eventually managed to flag down a passing car and was taken to a police station in Norwich.
Detective Inspector Marie James of the Joint MIT, said: "This was a violent attack on a woman who was left with serious injuries to her head, neck and body.
"During the attack the victim fought back and in the process scratched Carroll's face which was to prove crucial to this conviction."
The victim, who worked as a prostitute at the time, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where she underwent a forensic examination and swabs and fingernail clippings were seized.
At the time it wasn't possible to extract a DNA profile from the samples however they were retained.
In September 2013, following the launch of an unsolved case review - named Operation Hugo - and advances in technology, a full DNA profile was obtained resulting in a match to Carroll.
Carroll was arrested by detectives from the Joint MIT at his home in Buckinghamshire during in December last year.
During police interviews he denied all responsibility for the attack despite the forensic evidence. He did admit visiting Norwich on occasions in his role as an engineer for an electrical goods company.
On Thursday 19 December 2013 Carroll was subsequently charged with attempted murder and rape.
Detective Inspector James, added: "We hope that such a case proves how crucial forensic evidence can help secure a successful conviction no matter how long ago the offence took place.
"This was a horrific assault on a woman who has had to live with the consequences for more than 17 years.
"It has taken an enormous amount of courage on her to stand up in court and give evidence and we would like to commend her for the bravery she has shown.
"Such a case also shows the passing of time should not stand in the way of justice for victims who can be reassured we will do all we can to bring offenders before the courts."