Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Friday, 20 October 2006 12:33 UK

Abduction case was huge challenge

By James Lynn
BBC News, Newcastle

The bath from which Voisey abducted his victim
Voisey snatched the girl when she was left alone for a moment

Police have spoken of the difficulties they faced in bringing charges against a man who abducted a six-year-old girl from her bathtub and raped her.

Peter Voisey, 35, from Blyth, snatched the girl from her flat in Willington Quay, North Tyneside on 27 December.

Faced with few clues and an outraged public, there was immense pressure on Northumbria Police.

During the investigation they took 1,407 witness statements and made 750 house-to-house inquiries.

Voisey was identified early in the inquiry, when the Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) provided a list of potential offenders, which highlighted his name.

A breakthrough came when forensic analysis of the girl's bathroom recovered footprints on the wet lino, from which experts were able to specify a brand of training shoe.

Peter Voisey's trainer
Police matched Voisey's trainer to footprints in the bathroom

And when police called on Voisey, he answered the door wearing the same style of trainer. His shoes were seized and matched to the imprint at the crime scene.

But frustratingly for officers, samples taken from the victim were only able to provide a partial DNA match.

However, mobile telephone evidence - which contradicted Voisey's insistence that he was not in the area at the time of the abduction - meant they were confident enough to bring charges.

'Few clues'

Det Ch Insp Jim Napier, who led the investigation, said: "This was an extremely challenging investigation for both myself and Northumbria Police.

"We had a six-year-old traumatised victim, no eye witnesses, very few clues and an investigation conducted in the full glare of intense local and national media interest.

"That it was brought to a successful conclusion is in no small way due to the inquiry team, which was fully committed to catching the individual and acted with the utmost professionalism throughout."

Police praised the victim, who they said had proved to be a "first class witness", especially considering her age and the traumatic experience she had been through.

Man convicted of bath girl rape
20 Oct 06 |  England

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