Caroline Coyne murder: Carl Powell jailed
- 18 October 2012
- From the section Nottingham
A man described as sexually obsessive and predatory has been given a life sentence for murdering a young woman and sexually assaulting another.
Carl Powell killed mother-of-two Caroline Coyne in a Nottingham street in a sexually motivated attack.
CCTV played at Nottingham Crown Court showed Ms Coyne running away from Powell and trying to flag down a bus.
Powell, 24, attacked his second victim while police tried to work out the identity of the man in the footage.
When arrested over the sex attack he admitted to police he was the man in the CCTV, but denied killing Ms Coyne.
She had flagged down a police car half an hour before Powell came across her, but the two special constables said they could not give her a lift.
Stuart Rafferty QC, prosecuting, said it was Powell's "customary habit" to walk around looking for women.
A jury found Powell guilty of murder, sexual assault, and a further charge of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.
He was told he will serve a minimum term of 20 years before he can apply for parole.
'Not a taxi'
Ms Coyne, a 28-year-old care worker, had been drinking at a family party in Daybrook on the evening of 22 July last year.
When she flagged down the police car, at about 00:30 BST on 23 July, she was in Mapperley - the opposite direction from her home in Top Valley.
One officer said he told Ms Coyne: "We're not a taxi."
Powell came across Ms Coyne in Porchester Road at about 01:00 BST.
"From the very start he was fully aware of Caroline Coyne he was fully aware of her condition [being drunk and confused], and he had taken such an interest in her that he even then began to follow her," said Mr Rafferty.
Powell admitted talking to Ms Coyne, telling the court she appeared "battered".
'Desperate' to escape
A camera on a bus recorded her standing in Porchester Road trying to flag the bus down.
"She, by then, had become so desperate that she was stepping into the path of not a car but a bus at close quarters," said Mr Rafferty.
Describing the CCTV of Ms Coyne running from Powell, Mr Rafferty said he must have done or said something causing her "to become even more distressed than she had been, and even more anxious to get away".
She ran into Thorneywood Mount, where her body was found on a pathway at about 08:45 BST.
Her bra and pants had been moved, she had reddening consistent with a sexual assault, and a pathologist found she had died from head injuries. She had also been strangled.
Mr Justice Flaux told Powell: "Only you know what happened in that dark alleyway but it's clear that you cornered her and attacked her.
"You subjected Caroline to a savage attack, bludgeoning her over the head, causing injuries from which she would die alone and defenceless."
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was asked to look into the actions of the two Nottinghamshire Police officers.
An internal review was conducted at the IPCC's request, and this exonerated the officers of any wrongdoing.
'Held neck down'
Powell attacked his second victim a month later, as she walked home at about 04:00 BST on 24 August after a night out.
He grabbed the 21-year-old around the neck and dragged her into the grounds of a college in Carlton Road.
However, she said she talked her way out of being more seriously assaulted.
She told the BBC: "I kept him talking and he actually apologised for grabbing me, then I managed to keep him talking all the way walking up Carlton Road.
"I was nice to him and because he kept trying to kiss me and trying to encourage me to do other things I just tried to, not go along with it, but just not try and push him off and make him become hostile or anything again."
He eventually left.
"I don't know what would have happened if he had held my neck down for a lot longer because there was a good period of time when I couldn't breathe," added the woman.