Huntley denies Holly and Jessica murders

IAN Huntley yesterday admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice following the deaths of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.But the former school caretaker, who appeared in the dock for the first time with his girlfriend Maxine Carr, denied murdering the two girls, both 10, who vanished after being seen walking near their homes in Soham, Cambridgeshire, last August.

IAN Huntley yesterday admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice following the deaths of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

But the former school caretaker, who appeared in the dock for the first time with his girlfriend Maxine Carr, denied murdering the two girls, both 10, who vanished after being seen walking near their homes in Soham, Cambridgeshire, last August.

The parents of the two girls watched as Huntley, 29, who worked at Soham Village College at the time the girls disappeared, entered his plea at the Old Bailey.

Carr, 26, who was a teaching assistant in Holly and Jessica's class at St Andrew's Primary School, Soham, denied two charges of assisting an offender and one of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.


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It was the first time that Huntley and Carr, who lived in Huntley's house near Soham Village College, had appeared in court together since they were first charged in August.

The girls' parents, plus Jessica's sisters Alison, 15, and Rebecca, 17, sat a few yards from the defendants in court number one.

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Kevin Wells, 39, and his wife Nicola, 36, stared at the dock as the defendants entered their pleas.

Sharon Chapman, 43, also a teaching assistant at St Andrew's School, and her husband Leslie, 53, stared ahead with Mr Chapman glancing at Huntley and Carr from time to time.

The families sat with police officers including Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Stevenson, who is heading the investigation.

Huntley and Carr, in barely audible voices, confirmed their names and entered pleas before Mr Justice Moses.

The families left court after hearing the pleas.

Huntley, dressed in a white shirt, grey tie and dark trousers, glanced occasionally at Carr.

Carr, dressed in a dark trouser suit and blue blouse, looked ahead, occasionally biting her lip.

They were led into the dock separately and were divided by a dock officer, one of a seven-strong escort.

The public gallery was packed for the hearing which lasted around an hour and included a short break as the pleas were entered.

Huntley and Carr were remanded in custody. Their Old Bailey trial is scheduled to begin on October 6.

Huntley was driven to court from Woodhill Prison near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Carr was driven from Holloway Prison, north London.

A bunch of pink roses was left at the entrance to the Old Bailey before the hearing.

An attached message read: "Holly and Jessica, gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace."

The two girls vanished on August 4. Their bodies were found on August 17 in a ditch near Lakenheath.

A memorial service for them was held at Ely Cathedral.

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