Carr - I lied for Ian Huntley

MAXINE Carr choked back tears today as she told how she was branded "Myra Hindley MkII" over her links with alleged Soham double child murderer Ian Huntley.

MAXINE Carr choked back tears today as she told how she was branded "Myra Hindley MkII" over her links with alleged Soham double child murderer Ian Huntley.

Carr admitted she had lied to protect her ex-lover after Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman went missing but insisted she had never known the 10-year-olds died in her home.

She said she would have told police "like a shot' if she had ever suspected that the man she planned to marry had killed the schoolgirls.

Carr, 26, a former teaching assistant in the girls' class, was called to give evidence as her defence case began, on day 22 of the Old Bailey trial.

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Huntley left the witness box earlier in the day after giving evidence for almost 10 hours in total.

The jury has heard that he admits Holly died accidentally in his bath and that he killed Jessica as he tried to silence her screams on Sunday August 4 last year.

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He bundled their bodies into his car, dumped them in the remote ditch where they were found, cut off their clothes and torched their corpses.

Carr said Huntley telephoned her at her mother's house in Grimsby several times the next day and said two girls from her class had gone missing.

He told her in one of the calls that they had been inside the couple's home in Soham, that one of the girls had suffered a nosebleed and had sat on their bed, but that they had left the house alive.

She said she flew into a rage with him, saying he should not allowed a 10-year-old girl into their bedroom and that it was against school rules, but insisted it had never crossed her mind that he could have killed the girls.

She also outlined the conversation on Tuesday August 6 when it was first suggested that she could lie about where she was on the day the girls went missing.

Carr said: "He was pacing up and down like he was really fretting about it.

"He kept saying he thought he was a suspect. He said 'oh God, if I was the last person to see them they are going to come after me'.

"I kept going on at him about not being allowed to let children into the house and him knowing it.

"He started bringing up the allegation against him and how he was worrying about the police.'

The court has heard that Huntley was accused of rape in 1998, a case that was later dropped.

Carr said: "He said he was going to be fitted up when they found out about the allegation of rape against him.

"I said 'no, that is not going to happen'. I asked why he did not go to the police first and explain 'I saw the girls and I have been accused of this before and I want it out in the open so they don't point the finger at me'.'

Her lawyer, Michael Hubbard QC, asked what Huntley's reaction to that had been.

Carr said: "No way. He would lose his job.'

She said Huntley kept saying it would have been much easier if she had been there.

"But I said 'if I was in the house, I would have spoken to them'.'

Carr recounted how Huntley suggested she could have been in the bedroom or the bathroom, but she had said there was no way she would be in bed at 6pm.

"So the bathroom was the only alternative,' she said.

"I said 'everybody knows I wasn't here, I was in Grimsby',' but added that Huntley had told her no-one knew she had gone away.

"I said, 'well, if I say I'm here who am I going to say this to?' He said 'anybody that asks'.'

She said the police were not mentioned except when she had urged him to go to them and explain his situation.

"I was really just thinking about the children. He told me those girls had left the house, they had gone, they weren't in the house. So now it was just about stopping people spreading rumours about (Huntley) having children in the house.'

Carr added: "I was just worried about everything really. I was worried about him, he wasn't in any fit state.

"He was just... he was scared, he was really scared and I just agreed with what he said because I just wanted it to be all right.'

Carr said the girls were no longer in her thoughts because Huntley had told her they had left the house.

"They were out of the equation, if you want to put it like that. It was all about Ian, his job, his reputation.'

She said neither of them had made it expressly clear that she was going to lie, adding: "Ian said you don't have to do it but I knew that because of the way he was, I had to.'

Carr admitted lying "persistently' to police and journalists during the next two weeks.

Mr Hubbard said: "And you lied right up to when you were arrested. When you were lying, first of all was it right to lie?'

Carr: "No.'

Mr Hubbard: "Why not?'

Carr: "You just don't lie, it's not right.'

Mr Hubbard: "It's not right? You would say you were doing wrong by lying?'

Carr: "Even though I knew it wasn't right in moral terms, I thought I was doing the right thing at the time for that person.'

Mr Hubbard: "He told you he was worried about being a suspect. Did that cause you concern?'

Carr: "No. Because I knew Ian hadn't done anything.'

Mr Hubbard: "Why did you know that?'

Carr: "I just knew Ian, he wouldn't have done anything like that.'

Mr Hubbard: "Miss Carr, you have heard what we have all heard these last few days. Have you ever heard anything like that before?'

Carr: "No.'

Mr Hubbard: "Against you, it is suggested that you either knew or believed Ian had killed those children.'

Carr: "No.'

Mr Hubbard: "Unlawfully.'

Carr: "No.'

Mr Hubbard: "Did it ever cross your mind.'

Carr: "No.'

Mr Hubbard: "If you had ever had an inkling he was responsible, tell the jury what you would have done.'

Carr: "I would have been out of that house like a shot straight to the police, or straight to the nearest person I could talk to, to tell them.'

Mr Hubbard went on: "Did you ever think about the effect of the lies you were saying on the police investigation?'

Carr replied: "No, because those girls walked away from my house and they were alive when they walked away.'

Mr Hubbard put to Carr: "You understand it is alleged against you you have given him a false alibi by saying you were there at the critical time when you were not?'

Carr: "Yes.'

Mr Hubbard: "Why did you persist in that?'

Carr: "Because I did not want Ian accused of anything he had not done.'

Mr Hubbard: "Why did you think it was possible he might be accused of something he had not done?'

Carr: "Because when the police looked into him - I am sure they do background checks on people - particularly when he said he was the last person to see them, they would find out that he had a rape allegation against him, a little light would go off and it would be: that's the man.'

Her QC asked what she was hoping the police would do when she told the lie.

She said: "I just wanted them to go and find the person who had done it and stop plaguing people who hadn't done anything wrong.'

Carr, who wore a black trouser suit, told the jury she had loved Huntley "very, very much' and had hoped to marry him and have children.

She remained composed in the witness box, except when she told how women prisoners at Holloway had called her "Myra Hindley mark two' and "a nonce'.

Huntley, 29, a former caretaker at Soham Village College, denies murdering the girls at the home he shared with Carr but has admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Carr denies the conspiracy charge and two counts of assisting an offender.

Carr said she had noticed there was washing on the line and in the washing machine when she got back from Grimsby, which she said she would not have left.

She said the quilt and cover from the couple's bed were in the machine.

Huntley told the court earlier that Carr put the washing on the line and that he did not know how to use their washing machine, and had never used it.

Carr agreed she was surprised to see the washing, adding: "The first thing that came into my head was 'he's had a woman in my house'.'

She said it was only a fleeting suspicion.

Mr Hubbard said it was accepted Carr lied persistently up to her arrest but suggested she had already paid a heavy price for her behaviour.

He said her life had changed forever because of what had happened in Soham while she was more than 100 miles away in Grimsby, adding: "The cost of those lies has been enormous.'

The QC warned the jury it was not their task to judge his client in moral terms, but only to decide whether "criminal liability should attach to her for the lies she told'.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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