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Last Updated: Friday, 14 May, 2004, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Carr privacy protection to remain
Maxine Carr
Carr received death threats before her release
Details of Maxine Carr's new life following her release from prison will continue to remain private, after the High Court quashed a media challenge.

Carr, 27, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice with her ex-fiancÚ Soham killer Ian Huntley.

The High Court ruled that an interim ban on publication of her identity and release details should remain in force.

Carr received death threats days before her release on Friday, the court heard.

A letter sent on 10 May, four days ahead of Carr's release, stated: "You will be dead in six days".

It was one of two specific threats among more general threats and abuse sent to Carr, her counsel Edward Fitzgerald QC said.

This "immediate and imminent threat" to Carr's life had prompted the injunction, he added.

The risks she is exposed to are totally disproportionate to her crime
Edward Fitzgerald QC
The media had challenged the interim court injunction, saying it should have been contacted before the injunction was granted in private on Thursday.

Mr Justice Eady said it was "necessary and proportionate" to make the order to continue the injunction, pending a full two-day hearing as soon as possible after 8 June.

News of the World legal manager Tom Crone described the continuing order as "gagging the media".

"I'm not saying she shouldn't be protected.

"I'm saying she should justify it clearly in a public and open court in a convincing manner, because it is an absolutely unique order."

He said the media was fighting for freedom of expression, including the public's right to know what happens to Carr.

The News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner said the paper would abide by the ruling, adding: "We are not knowingly in the business of endangering people".

Police investigation

The previous specific death threat to Carr was made on 23 April, referring to "gun down day".

Carr was not made aware of the threat until last Wednesday.

"These threats are being taken seriously and being investigated by the police and they are taking steps to protect her," Mr Fitzgerald said.

The Home Office, Probation Service and the police - who had advised Carr to wear body armour - had jointly supported the injunction, said Mr Fitzgerald.

Carr will now be supervised by the National Probation Service to ensure she adheres to the conditions of her release on probation.

Any breach could see Carr returned to prison.

The court order, requested by Carr's lawyers, bans publication of any information which could lead to Carr's proposed new identity or address being revealed.

It also prevents reporting on her care or treatment once she is freed, including details of a psychiatrist's report.

I hope that people will now leave her alone because she has served her time
David Blunkett

The injunction, granted in private by Mr Justice Eady, was served on News Group Newspapers, Associated Newspapers, Guardian Newspapers, the Telegraph Group Ltd and MGN Ltd.

The legal challenge to the injunction was made by News Group and MGN.

Mr Fitzgerald said the urgency of the situation had justified the grant of an emergency injunction, without giving prior notice to the media.

He said that unlike previous cases of people being offered anonymity - Mary Bell and the killers of James Bulger - Carr had not killed anyone.

"The risks she is exposed to are totally disproportionate to her crime," he said.

The media argued the order did not identify the evidence on which the order was granted, and contained no undertaking to provide evidence to the media.

Media counsel, Matthew Nicklin, said it was "deplorable" the application had been put before the court on an emergency basis.

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"She received two letters threatening her life"

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