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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 20:45 GMT
Carr spoke of girls in past tense
Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells
Ian Huntley is accused of murdering Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells
Ian Huntley's girlfriend spoke about Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in the past tense before their bodies were found, the Old Bailey has heard.

BBC regional journalist Rachel Dane interviewed Mr Huntley and Maxine Carr in their home.

The cameraman had pointed out she was speaking about them in the past tense.

Miss Carr laughed and then said "God" before resuming, speaking in the present tense, the court heard.

The cameraman, Shaun Whitmore, told the court he had stopped the interview because he felt the families would not want to hear the girls spoken about in the past tense.

Mr Huntley denies murdering the girls, who disappeared in August 2002. But he admits conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Miss Carr denies helping an offender and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

'Mound of rags'

The jury also heard how scorched clothing belonging to the two 10-year-olds was discovered dumped in a bin.

The find came on 16 August 2002 at a storage building known as the hangar at Soham Village College, Cambridgeshire.

PC Timothy Wade said he had seen a "mound of rags" in one of five bins.

These included remnants of a red Manchester United number seven shirt like those worn by the 10-year-olds when they disappeared, he said.

PC Wade said: "I could smell a strong smell of smoke, and obviously the T-shirt had been scorched.

"I could see further red material with similar writing and three small, white training shoes."

Plainclothes police had by this stage in the investigation warned the college caretaker, Ian Huntley, they were increasingly suspicious of him and wanted to search his house and car, the court was told.

The two schoolgirls went missing after a family barbecue at the Wells' home on 4 August. Their bodies were found 13 days later in a ditch near RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk

The Old Bailey heard earlier Mr Huntley had asked police how an abductor would access a message on Jessica Chapman's phone.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Hebb said the caretaker had suggested the phone could be dead or discarded.

'Shook my hand'

A message had been left on Jessica's mobile urging any potential abductor to get in touch with police.

Stephen Coward QC, for Mr Huntley, suggested it was "a basic question" that anyone might have asked.

The officer agreed, adding: "But nobody did, sir."

Mr Hebb said Maxine Carr had been standing behind Mr Huntley throughout the conversation and "came and shook my hand and thanked me".

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