Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Paddock Wood Murder

This case was one in which it was initially thought that the victim had been abducted by foreign agents, due to the highly sensitive post she held working for the Ministry of Defence.  This all started on Sunday July 20th 1969 when 21 year old Diana Davidson was watching her boyfriend play in a cricket match in the small Kent village of Paddock Wood.  But she grew bored with the game and decided to go and pick some wild flowers, but never returned.  Her boyfriend enlisted the help of some of his friends to search for her but she could not be found.  He called Police to report her missing.  On being told of her occupation, the Police took this very seriously and contacted the Ministry of Defence.  Her job entailed missile research, so this could have been a planned abduction.

    Her description was circulated to the media, all airports and seaports were watched, and patrol boats checked all vessels in an area of the North Sea and the English Channel.  A report came in that a woman said she had been molested by a driver of a Jaguar car.  Was there a connection to the disappearance of Diana?  This was discounted when a woman matching Diana was seen getting into a Hillman Minx, a small car, by a man with longish hair and wearing a scarf.  Then a woman came forward and said Diana had spoken to her about collecting flowers from a pond near by.  It was believed that this was where she was abducted.  A week later, a farmer was walking his dog when the dog started burrowing in weeds on Mount Pleasant Road.  He looked to see what his dog was interested in, and he looked into a ditch by where the dog was burrowing.  He had found the nude body of Diana Davidson.  She was face down in the ditch.

    The manhunt was intensified but no leads came in so a reconstruction was mounted in order to jog people`s memories.  The post mortem revealed she had been strangled but not sexually assaulted, despite her clothes being torn off and discarded.  A length of cotton cord was found by the body.  She had scrapings taken from under her fingernails, and traces of blood was found.  Forensic scientists conducted different tests but came up with the same result.  The blood group was the rare AB Negative.  Blood samples were taken from numerous men in Paddock Wood and sent for examination.  One came back AB Negative.  It belonged to Roy Andrew Carter.  Police went to his home to take him in for questioning and to search his home.  He was shown a length of cord identical to one used to strangle Diana.  When asked if he knew what it was, Carter replied it was a pyjama cord.  When informed that it was identical to the murder weapon, Carter confessed.

    His defence was Manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but this was rejected by the prosecution.  It is believed that upon seeing the young woman, Carter was overtaken with lust, got himself the pyjama cord, and followed her.  During the attack, she fought him ferociously, enough to enrage him to kill her without fulfilling his intended sexual assault.  On November 17th 1969, he was jailed for life.