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Police vow to track down offenders however long it takes, after man jailed for 15 years for raping a woman near Norwich 18 years ago

PUBLISHED: 09:53 09 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:09 11 August 2014

Peter Carroll. Pic: Submitted.

Peter Carroll. Pic: Submitted.

A man has been jailed for 15 years for raping a pregnant woman on the outskirts of Norwich in 1996.

Peter Carroll, 56, appeared for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, after being found guilty at trial of the rape of the woman and another count of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Carroll, of Barnsbury Avenue, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, attacked the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the White Horse Lane area of Trowse during the evening of Saturday, July 20, 1996.

She was left unconscious by the roadside following the attack but crucially managed to get some of her attacker’s DNA under her fingernails before passing out.

That crucial evidence - and subsequent advances in technology - meant that while the initial investigation in 1996 went cold Carroll was tracked down and arrested in December last year by officers from the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team as a result of an unsolved case review.

In sentencing Carroll to 15 years imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years after his release from prison, Judge Stephen Holt told him that his victim, who was a prostitute and in her 20s at the time, had been deeply traumatised by the experience and was still suffering the effects 18 years on.

The court heard that Carroll had left a wedding reception in Great Yarmouth to drive to Norwich to pick up a prostitute. He then took the woman to an isolated spot. At first, the sex was consensual, but then the court heard that Carroll put his two hands around her throat and strangled her until she became unconscious. The court was told that Carroll believed that he had killed her. After dumping her semi-naked body, he drove back to the wedding reception, where he later danced with a 12-year-old girl. He later told members of his family that he had killed someone but had got away with it.

Jon Swain, for Carroll, said: “These offences took place nearly 20 years ago and since then there has been no repetition and he has not re-offended in any way. His partner, who is in court today, has been with him for five years, and they have been able to live a normal life together. His drinking has been addressed and he does not pose a risk to the public. What happened that night is, in many ways, inexplicable.”

Afterwards, DI Marie James, from the investigation team, said the police would continue to review cases of this nature, no matter how long before the offence had been committed.

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