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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 14:58 GMT
Soham jury visits Huntley's house
The jury's coach arrives in Soham
Soham effectively became part of the Old Bailey as the jury arrived
The jury in the Soham trial has visited the home of Ian Huntley, accused of the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

They spent 30 minutes at 5 College Close, where the girls were allegedly killed on 4 August 2002.

Earlier they drove past the girls' homes and walked to the town's war memorial and its sports centre, which the girls passed in their final hours.

Mr Huntley, a former caretaker at Soham Village College, denies murdering them.

His ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr denies attempting to pervert the course of justice and helping an offender.

Both the prosecution and defence invite you to consider sight lines from within the house both upstairs and downstairs and from immediately outside as we are here
Richard Latham QC

The jury was warned the appearance of the two-storey house had changed dramatically since the time of the girls' disappearance.

House 'stripped'

The prosecution has said Mr Huntley was unlikely to deny the two 10-year-olds died while in his home.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, showed the jury photographs as the house would have appeared when police first searched it.

"You are reminded that during the police search the house has been stripped of all interior fittings."

Mr Latham also pointed out the removal of the original windows and window frames, and numerous changes inside.

Prosecution evidence: The girls' last movements

He said the lines of sight from the house were an important issue.

Mr Latham said: "Both the prosecution and defence invite you to consider sight lines from within the house both upstairs and downstairs and from immediately outside as we are here, all the way round the site and up to the hangar, which your can see.

"We invite you in particular to consider the following: the view of the hangar, the approach from the sports centre, College Road that you have just come down, the entrance to the Lodeside building which is the school and indeed which buildings actually overlook this area immediately at the front of the house."

The jury's visit to the Cambridgeshire town came as the trial entered its second week.

They arrived soon after 1100 GMT in a coach accompanied by six police motorcycle outriders and a police car.

Strict restrictions

The jurors then traced what the prosecution say are the final steps of the girls before entering 5 College Close at 1237 GMT.

BBC correspondent Andy Tighe said the whole of Soham had effectively become part of court number one at the Old Bailey during the visit, with strict limits on the reporting of what the jury saw and did.

Local people were encouraged to keep a low profile on the day of the jury's visit, with council buildings closed and nearby attractions offering free tickets to residents.

There was a large police presence in the town for the visit, with lone officers marking the Wells and Chapman houses.

The jurors also saw the hangar building where the prosecution said police found the girls' clothing dumped in a bin.

On Tuesday they will travel to the spot where Mr Huntley, the former caretaker at the girls' school, is alleged to have dumped and set fire to their bodies.

They were found in a ditch near Lakenheath in Suffolk, 13 days after they went missing.

Prosecution claims

Last week, the prosecution outlined its case against Mr Huntley, 29, and Ms Carr 26.

In the opening days of the trial, which is expected to last three months, Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, told the jury the girls had probably been asphyxiated.

Mr Latham claimed that Mr Huntley had attempted to "sanitise" his car after using it to dump the girls' bodies and that his hair had been found with their clothes in a bin in a hangar at the school.

The prosecution alleged that Maxine Carr either "knew or believed" Ian Huntley had killed the Soham girls when she lied to police on his behalf.

After three days outlining the prosecution case, Mr Latham said that to convict Mr Huntley of murder, the jury had to be convinced of an intent to kill or cause serious harm.

He said Ms Carr, 26, could only be guilty of knowingly assisting an offender if Mr Huntley was convicted, and if the jury believed Ms Carr knew he was the killer.

The trial has been adjourned until Tuesday.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr exercised their right to stay away"



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