Two-year-old girl is youngest person in UK to give evidence in conviction of Dereham paedophile

PUBLISHED: 16:23 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:23 16 October 2017

Matthew Carter. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Matthew Carter. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A paedophile from Dereham was jailed for more than ten years after his two year old victim became the youngest person to give evidence in a British criminal case.

Matthew Carter, 45, of Limassol Road, Dereham, was sent to prison at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to the rape of a two-year-old girl and to making indecent images of children.

Vital evidence in the case was provided by his young victim through video testimony when a representative from the Ministry of Justice’s register of intermediaries, which supports witnesses under the age of 18 to give evidence, assisted police in communicating with her.

The intermediary gained the girl’s trust by spending time with her and playing with some of her favourite toys. As the pair played a police officer sat with them and asked questions.

They focused on finding out the essential details of the crime, such as the ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. They then asked her to show them what had happened by asking her to point to parts of the body on a paper figure.

The expert also helped the girl to get past her fear of giving a mouth swab for forensic analysis. She was initially apprehensive when she saw an officer wearing medical gloves but when the intermediary asked for everyone in the room to be given gloves and swabs the child relaxed and gave the mouth swab without difficulty.

After the video was passed to Carter’s lawyers he confessed before the trial and pleaded guilty.

When he was sentenced Judge Maureen Bacon called his crimes “thoroughly abhorrent”.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “This young girl has been incredibly brave to give evidence, which can be extremely daunting even for adults.

“It’s hugely positive to see that she was so well supported to tell police what really happened.

“The NSPCC has urged the Ministry of Justice to drastically increase the availability of well-trained, independent experts to ensure justice is done.

“An independent specialist who can ensure children are questioned appropriately and their evidence is understood is as important for justice as providing an interpreter for a witness who can’t speak the language.”

Carter was sentenced to 11 and half years in prison and been placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Other news

14 minutes ago

Former Norwich City footballer Iwan Roberts scored a hit with Sheringham shoppers when he turned out to open a new Specsavers store in the town centre.

48 minutes ago

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Dereham Road at Yaxham is currently closed due to a man being trapped in his overturned car.


Controversial cuts to bus subsidies and gritting in Norfolk are on the brink of being abandoned - with money from a council tax increase saving the services.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:46

Thousands of homes are still without power across Norfolk and Suffolk after strong winds caused widespread damage across the region.

Read more
Wed, 18:00

Researchers at a marine science institute believe they have found “strong evidence” that incidents of sickness and death in dogs after eating fish on the north Norfolk coastline were caused by a neurotoxin found in shellfish.

Read more
European Union
Yesterday, 15:45

A Gothic horror film that brought star Vincent Price and director Roger Corman to Norfolk is to return to Norwich for a screening by Hallowed Histories.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

It is a problem you would expect in the crowded streets of London but a Norfolk market town has become embroiled in a battle against dangerously high pollution levels. If it is not solved residents, particularly children and the elderly, could face serious health risks.

Read more
Yesterday, 23:42

The resignation of the region’s ambulance trust’s medical director has been announced just a day after it was alleged 20 people died waiting for help whilst the service was stretched.

Read more
Clive Lewis

Local Weather



max temp: 4°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter