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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 20:46 GMT
Carr brands Huntley 'that thing'
Maxine Carr
Maxine Carr said Ian Huntley put pressure on her to lie
Maxine Carr has wept in the witness box at the Soham trial, saying her ex-boyfriend Ian Huntley made her lie.

"I'm not going to be blamed for what that thing in the box [Mr Huntley] has done to me and those children," she told the Old Bailey.

Ms Carr, who admits lying to police, denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice and helping an offender.

Mr Huntley denies murdering schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, but admits conspiring to pervert justice.

I'm not going to be blamed for what that thing in that box has done to me or those children
Maxine Carr
Ms Carr's second and final day of giving evidence was marked by several outbursts of crying.

The first came as she was cross-examined by Mr Huntley's defence barrister Stephen Coward QC.

She sobbed as she raised her hand, pointed to Mr Huntley and said she would not be blamed for his actions.

She said he was "very controlling" towards her in general, and she had been scared of him.

'Obsessed'

Ms Carr admitted lying to police and journalists by saying she was at home and in the bath on Sunday afternoon when the girls disappeared, rather than away in Grimsby.

This had been Mr Huntley's idea, she said - and he had then pressured her into making the same lie in a statement to police.

AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN STEPHEN COWARD QC, IAN HUNTLEY'S DEFENCE, AND MAXINE CARR
Carr: I was trying to make Ian look better than he actually is. You have no idea about the relationship I had with Mr Huntley
Coward: What was the purpose of that remark?
Carr: Nothing. I am just trying to make it clear you do not know the kind of person Ian was towards me. He had a very controlling attitude
Mr Coward suggested Ms Carr was making up that Mr Huntley was a bully, which she denied.

Ms Carr was later cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel Richard Latham QC.

Mr Latham suggested Ms Carr continued to lie to police and journalists, even after she had worked out the girls were dead.

At some point she had picked up sufficient clues to make her believe Mr Huntley had killed the girls, he said.

'Feeling guilty'

But she had been so "obsessed" with him and preserving her home and her future that she persistently lied, he suggested.

"No sir, that's wrong," Ms Carr said.

AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN RICHARD LATHAM QC, PROSECUTING, AND MAXINE CARR
Latham: Given all the clues that you had been provided by him... there came a point where you believed he killed those girls
Carr: No sir, that's wrong, no
Latham: You were so obsessed by him and so obsessed with preserving your relationship, your home and your future
Carr: No
Latham: You made the decision you would tell lies in order to divert attention away from him
Carr: Not against him being a murderer, no

Ms Carr said Mr Huntley told her the girls had left after visiting their home, and she believed him.

"They went away happy and laughing. That's what he said," she insisted.

Her voice breaking, she added: "They were alive when they left my house because that man said so."

The former teaching assistant admitted deliberately deceiving police by disputing what Mr Huntley had been wearing - when she could not have known because she was not there.

She also admitted talking to journalists about the girls in the past tense, but said this was simply because she no longer worked at their school.

Choking back tears, she said: "I have been feeling very, very guilty, sir, for a long, long time that if I had been there, I could have stopped them from dying."

Sobbed

She agreed that she had cleaned the house, including washing the curtains, in the days after the girls disappeared - but denied this was a deliberate clean-up of evidence.

AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN RICHARD LATHAM QC, PROSECUTING, AND MAXINE CARR
Latham: Not a DNA stain was found [in your house]
Carr: Yes
Latham: Not a head hair from those girls was found in that house
Carr: Which I find impossible, but it wasn't, no
Latham: Because that house was subjected to the most careful clean-up by you and Ian, wasn't it?
Carr: Not by me, sir. I just cleaned my house

And she denied that she would have become suspicious when she saw the duvet in the washing machine on her return, even though Mr Huntley never did the laundry.

At the end of the day, her own counsel Michael Hubbard QC asked her whether she would have continued to sleep in the same bed with Mr Huntley, if had she known what he had subsequently confessed to.

"I wouldn't have been in the same house as him," said Ms Carr.

Mr Hubbard asked if she would have continued to use their bathroom, to which she sobbed: "No."

No convictions

Ms Carr finished giving evidence on Thursday afternoon, after two days on the stand.

The court was then told that neither Mr Huntley nor Ms Carr had any previous convictions against them.

Mr Huntley, 29, a former school caretaker in the Cambridgeshire town, denies the double child murder but has admitted a single charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The case was adjourned until Monday.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Sarah Campbell
"The prosecution allege she provided Huntley with a false alibi"



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