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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 18:24 GMT
Key points: Day Eight
Maxine Carr and Ian Huntley
Maxine Carr and Ian Huntley are on trial at the Old Bailey
The Soham trial is hearing witness evidence at the Old Bailey.

People involved in the search for Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman are giving evidence about how it progressed on the night of Sunday 4 August 2002.

Ian Huntley denies murdering the girls.

His former girlfriend Maxine Carr denies two charges of assisting an offender and one of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The key details from witness statements on Day Eight are as follows:

  • Scott Day, the business partner of Holly's father Kevin, said he and Mr Wells had seen Mr Huntley a number of times the night the girls disappeared.

  • Mr Day said around 2300 BST on the Sunday, he saw Mr Huntley walking his dog near the town's sports centre

  • He said that he and Mr Wells had driven on to the school, with Holly's father shouting as loud as he could across the playing fields for the girls

  • Mr Day said he and Holly's father were joined by Robert Wright, who had been at a barbecue at the Wells house earlier, and that they searched until 0500 BST on Monday morning

  • Mr Day said at 0430 BST they parked at the school, and noticed a light was on and the sports centre door was open

  • He said they encountered Mr Huntley inside, still apparently wearing the same clothes he had been earlier and accompanied by a dog

  • Mr Huntley said he had just been in an office writing a note, and had been up all night with the police and would be late in the morning, Mr Day said

  • Mr Day said that Mr Wells told Mr Huntley he was going to have a look around the playing fields and the school, but the caretaker said police had already been with sniffer dogs

  • Second witness Stuart Smith, who had joined the search, said he had been outside Mr Huntley's house between 0000 and 0030 BST and was sure that his car was not there and that there were no lights on

  • Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, he said he was definite that the car was not there because otherwise he would not have walked across Mr Huntley's lawn

  • When he returned to the rendezvous, Mr Smith said he noticed a man at the back of a group with a black Alsatian, who he now knew to be Mr Huntley

  • Third witness policewoman Anna Burton is a police dog handler

  • She said she was called by a police control room at 2200 BST on Sunday 4 August 2002 and informed about two missing girls. She was told to search the grounds of the sports centre with her dog

  • She said her dog started growling near the entrance to Soham Village College, and then she encountered Ian Huntley, with his own dog

  • She said he introduced himself as the school caretaker and offered to assist in the search by getting the keys to the school

  • As Pc Burton was new to the area and had no idea of where various buildings were in relation to each other, she said she was glad to have a caretaker in attendance. The "offer of keys and caretaker was just wonderful" she said

  • Ms Burton spent about an hour with Mr Huntley going around the school site. She said he was "very pleasant... very helpful". She said she thought he was so young to have such responsibilities with a number of staff below him

  • When the pair arrived at the school hangar Mr Huntley said he did not have the keys for the building, so the dog handler walked all the way around it. Shortly after she was called away for a new search

  • On Friday 16 August, Ms Burton returned to the college site. At about 2130 BST she was resting her dog when an officer appeared looking "very ashen faced and shocked". He said there had been a "significant discovery"

  • Fourth witness David Hobbs is a retained firefighter. He has lived in Soham all his life and went to Soham Village College

  • Mr Hobbs said he got involved in the search for the girls on the night of Sunday 4 August. He said he noticed a figure in the doorway of the caretaker's house. It was Mr Huntley, although Mr Hobbs said he did not know him at the time

  • They and two others started searching the school area. Mr Huntley stayed with Mr Hobbs and the other two searchers as they moved around the school

  • He said Mr Huntley was chatting to them all about what the girls were wearing. Mr Huntley also commented on the huge police activity in the town

  • When in the swimming pool area, Mr Huntley, for the first time, mentioned the two girls had passed by his house at 1830 BST and over the bridge across the Lode stream, Mr Hobbs said

  • Fifth witness is retained fireman Stephen Jarvis who said he spoke with Mr Huntley in the early hours of the search

  • Mr Huntley was standing outside the caretakers' house with a cup and asked Mr Jarvis what was going on, he said

  • "Two girls have gone missing," replied Mr Jarvis

  • Mr Huntley asked: "Did they have red tops and one had blonde hair?"

  • "Yes," replied Mr Jarvis

  • Mr Huntley said he had seen them earlier "after six"

  • Susan Hurrell, a teacher in the reception class at the girls' school, said she encountered Mr Huntley at the rendezvous point for the search at between 0200 and 0230 BST

  • Mrs Hurrell asked Mr Huntley if he had seen the girls, to which he replied that he had spoken to them at 1750 when one of them asked how Ms Carr was

  • Mrs Hurrell said Mr Huntley told her the pair had walked over the bridge towards College Road and the library. She urged Mr Huntley to tell police about the sighting and accompanied him to a police officer

  • Sergeant Pauline Nelson co-ordinated the search. Between 2300 and 0200 BST a 5-mile radius was being searched, but there had still been no reported sightings of the girls, she said

  • She said she had about eight officers and between 20 and 40 members of the public helping

  • Sergeant Nelson said she was aware of a man in the crowd at the control point who smelt freshly bathed

  • She spoke to Mr Huntley for about 10 minutes about his sighting of the girls

  • The case was adjourned until 1030 GMT on Monday

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