October 23 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Thursday, June 12, 2014
How many more victims? That is the question detectives have today vowed to answer after confirming they are to delve into the past of Peter Carroll to see if he has been responsible for any other crimes following his conviction for rape on a prostitute in Trowse 18 years ago.
Fifty-five year-old Carroll was tracked down by officers from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team as a result of an unsolved case review.
He attacked the victim, who was in her 20s at the time, in the White Horse Lane area of Trowse during the evening of Saturday, July 20, 1996.
Carroll, of Barnsbury Avenue, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of rape and another count of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.
Following Monday’s verdicts detectives have revealed they intend to take a further look at Carroll to see whether he might be responsible for any other crimes in the past few years.
Detective Sergeant Neil Stewart, who played a major part in helping to bring Carroll to justice almost 20 years after the 1996 attack, said: “It’s certainly one of the things we’re going to do once the dust has settled and take stock from what we’ve got. We interviewed him at great length about his adult life so one of the things we will be doing is to look at his past and see if he has committed any other offences of a similar nature.”
Det Sgt Stewart said he did not want to talk about specific cases but Norfolk has a number of historic cold cases involving sex workers in the Norwich, including Kellie Pratt, who has never been seen since she disappeared from the city’s red light district in 2000.
One crime however Carroll is definitely not responsible for is the murder of 16-year-old Norwich prostitute Natalie Pearman in 1992 as his DNA does not match the profile of the samples obtained in this particular case.
Det Sgt Stewart said: “I’m not going to be specific about names. We need to try and get a picture of what Peter Carroll was about, where he was and what the make up was of Carroll and see whether that fits in with other unsolved cases.
“Cold cases are always being looked at but it will be a case of following on what we now know about Peter Carroll and seeing if there are opportunities and possibilities around that.”
The victim in this case has managed to obtain justice nearly 20 years after the initial attack and Det Sgt Stewart said that should offer hope to other victims and their families.
He said: “The passage of time is not a bar to us to looking at or acting on information or developing forensic opportunities which we may get and provide reassurance to people who have been victims of crime and people that have lost loved ones that we won’t ever forget these cases and will take action and seek to bring the people responsible for them to justice.”
Det Sgt Stewart, who praised the bravery of the victim in this case - and that of some members of Carroll’s own family who gave evidence against him , said it was “very satisfying” to have brought him to justice after all this time.
He urged anyone who has information about a crime - no matter how long ago - to come forward and let police know,
He said: “From the smallest bit of information it can develop into what we’ve had this week.”
Anyone with any information about a historic crime should call police on 101.