January 2004

Father jailed for killing daughter

A 62-year-old man has been jailed for nine years for killing his young daughter 30 years ago, it has emerged.

Arthur Carr was convicted of manslaughter in May last year, but news of that verdict was only made public on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to four unrelated charges of rape.

The body of Gillian Carr, who was between seven and nine-years-old at the time of her death, has never been discovered.

Carr, from Nursery Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, was convicted at Hereford Crown Court after his son Vincent described how his father confessed to throwing Gillian’s body into a river.

The court was told how Gillian, his second daughter, died after the father-of-seven beat her severely between February 1973 and December 1975.

Her body was never recovered, despite extensive police searches, including the excavation of a garden at the family’s former home in The Purland, Ross-on-Wye.

Carr, a pipe fitter, was arrested in July 2002 and convicted on the evidence of his son Vincent, who said his father had confessed to the killing during a confrontation 18 years ago.

The 35-year-old self-employed taxi driver told the court: “Dad said he had been beating Gillian to the extent that she was shaking on the floor.

“He said Gillian had been thrown off Wilton Bridge.”

‘Extensive search’

Vincent has no memory of his sister but went to police after discovering her birth certificate.

Detective Inspector Williams of West Mercia Police said: “This has been an extremely difficult case to investigate because Gillian disappeared around 30 years ago and, despite an extensive search, a body has never been found.

“We spent a tremendous amount of time and effort to show that Gillian no longer exists and the verdict reflects that to be the case.”

During the separate hearing at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday, Carr, whose wife Elizabeth died in 1991, pleaded guilty to four counts of rape.

Family’s relief

The judge ordered that a number of other counts lie on file, including assault and threats to kill.

He adjourned sentencing until Carr’s application for leave to appeal and any subsequent appeal was completed.

In the meantime, Carr was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

In a statement, the family expressed relief at the verdict.

It read: “It has been a traumatic time for all of us and we have had to find a great deal of courage to face Arthur.

“We are relieved that Gillian has at last been given a voice and we would dearly love to find her body so that we could give her what she deserves and finally put her to rest.”