A man has been convicted of raping a pregnant prostitute in his car 18 years ago before leaving her unconscious at the roadside.
Peter John Carroll, 55, of Barnsbury Avenue, Aylesbury has been brought to justice after police launched a cold case review which – with the aid of new technology – matched his DNA to the scene of the crime.
He had taken the 20-year-old victim to the White Horse Lane area of Trowse, a village a mile outside the centre of Norwich before raping, brutally attacking and attempting to strangle her in his car.
Despite her being four months pregnant at the time of the attack, the victim eventually managed to flag down a passing car and was rushed to hospital.
He was found guilty at Norwich Crown Court on Monday of rape and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge of attempted murder.
Carroll, who has spent most of his life in Aylesbury and was living in the town at the time of the offence, was tracked down by officers from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team.
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 was not possible to extract a DNA profile from the samples, however they were retained.
Carroll was arrested by detectives at his home in Aylesbury on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 18, 2013.
During police interviews he denied all responsibility for the attack despite the forensic evidence.
He did admit to visiting Norwich on occasions in his role as an engineer for an electrical goods company.
The following day Carroll was 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.”
Carroll will be sentenced on July 11.