[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 16:35 GMT
Key points: Day 22
Richard Latham  QC
Richard Latham QC has begun summing up his case
The prosecution and Ian Huntley's defence lawyer have delivered their closing statements at the Soham murder trial at the Old Bailey.

Prosecuting Richard Latham QC completed summing up the case against Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr on Wednesday following a two-day delay when a juror fell ill.

Defence lawyer Stephen Coward QC also gave his summing up, with the jury expected to start considering its verdict on Friday.

Mr Huntley has denied murder but pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

His ex-girlfriend Ms Carr denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice and two counts of assisting an offender.


Key details from Day 22 are as follows:

  • Richard Latham QC told the jury they would be given laptop computers with evidence heard during the trial.

  • He said most of what has been described by prosecution witnesses is not in dispute, it is the interpretation that is questioned.

  • He said: "You can accept that the girls died when they were with Ian Huntley and that he took their bodies and set fire to them. But we make it absolutely clear, we do not accept his account of what happened at number five [College Close]".

  • The jury were told they were not expected to be precise in identifying in which room and how both girls died.

  • Mr Latham said: "All you have to be sure about... is that he murdered each girl".

  • The dumping of the bodies was not casual but a "series of ruthless acts", the prosecutor said.

  • He described Mr Huntley as being a "capable and convincing liar" whose approach to Holly's father Kevin Wells was "cold" and "ruthless".

  • The jury was told Mr Huntley indulged in "twelve days of cynical deception", playing the role of a helpful caretaker while arranging an alibi and cleaning out the house and car.

  • He said Mr Huntley's phone conversation with his mother showed a man going through the prosecution case and inventing a scenario to fit.

  • Mr Latham also questioned Mr Huntley's explanation for the broken light fitting in the dining room, which the defendant said was brought down by water flooding from the bathroom above.

  • Mr Latham said: "We will never be able to prove precisely what, but we suggest you have not heard the truth from either defendant about that dining room.

  • There was a "massive clean-up of the entire building," as no trace of the girls was found in the house, Mr Latham said.

  • The girls were only 600 yards from Holly's home and had a mobile phone, so why did they go into the house when Mr Huntley was a stranger to them?, asked Mr Latham.

  • He told the jury only "some sort of lie", perhaps that Maxine Carr was inside, would have persuaded them to go in.

  • And he said there was "no good reason" for Holly to go into the bedroom, let alone sit on the bed.

  • He questioned what kind of a nudge would have propelled Holly into the bath and caused her to drown in between six and eight inches of water.

  • Regarding Jessica's death, Mr Latham QC questioned Mr Huntley's claim he had only put one hand over her nose and mouth to stop her screaming.

  • Mr Latham said she was pinned to the ground "gripped with a vice-like hold with the other hand for a long time".

  • He said prosecution rejects the idea that the deaths were accidents and says a gross negligence manslaughter plea was not a possibility.

  • Mr Latham suggested Mr Huntley was motivated by something sexual and that whatever he tried to initiate with one or both of the girls went wrong.

  • He said both Mr Huntley and Ms Carr were "two really accomplished liars" - pointing to the media interviews they gave before the girls' bodies were found.

  • He said Ms Carr told lies to the police "with intent to impede" and told the jury they must decide whether she told them knowing or believing what Ian Huntley had done.

  • The jury was told Ms Carr knew from Monday afternoon the girls had been in her house and she was in tears on the Tuesday when she saw Mr Huntley had replaced the carpet in the boot of his car.

  • Mr Latham said a woman obsessed by cleaning could not have failed to notice that the house was spotless when she returned home.

  • And she would have had time to think during the 10 days before she was arrested, said Mr Latham.

    "We do not have to prove she either knew or believed the precise circumstances of how the girls died. We have to prove that she knew or believed that the girls had died and that he had unlawfully killed them."

  • Mr Huntley's counsel, Stephen Coward QC, began his summing up by saying the jury should resist the obvious emotional pressures and be "resolute and fair".

  • Mr Coward told the jury there were lots of blank spaces unexplained by witness accounts.

  • Mr Coward told the jury that if they believed Mr Huntley's account of what had happened in the house or thought it might be possible they should imagine what a "mind-blowing situation that must have been".

  • Mr Coward drew the jury's attention to the confusion about whether or not Mr Huntley had made a second visit to the site where the girls bodies were found. He said no police officer or anyone connected to the prosecution had any record or recollection of the botanist Patricia Wiltshire telling them in 2002 about a second track to the site in Lakenheath.

  • Mr Coward said there was no evidence for the prosecution's claim Mr Huntley had had a sexual motive for the girls' deaths.

  • The lack of evidence suggested Mr Huntley was telling the truth, Mr Coward told the court.

  • Mr Coward told the jury Holly had entered the house because of a nosebleed, and the prosecution was trying to get mileage from a suggestion of "inappropriate behaviour" on Mr Huntley's part.

  • Mr Coward recommended the jury find Mr Huntley not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of both girls.

  • Mr Huntley would agree he should have got Holly out of the bath quicker, tried to resuscitate her and called an ambulance, Mr Coward said.

  • Mr Coward told the court Mr Huntley would not claim he was innocent of all responsibility and should not be punished.

  • After the girls' deaths, Mr Huntley had taken a "wrong" decision, Mr Coward said. "Once he was committed on the path he was on, it just got worse and worse."




  • RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


    PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

    News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
    UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
    Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific