BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
N Ireland
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Holly and Jessica police find clothes
Holly and Jessica wearing Manchester Utd shirts on the day they went missing
The girls were keen Manchester United fans
Items of clothing believed to have been worn by murdered schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman have been found by police.

While detectives say they are unable to disclose details, on the day they went missing, the girls were both wearing replicas of the distinctive football shirt of their Manchester United hero David Beckham.

The girls' bodies were found last Saturday, almost two weeks after they went missing from their home town of Soham, Cambridgeshire.

The discovery of clothing comes as the head teacher of the best friends' school said it was time for their community to move on.

Geoff Fisher said the new term at St Andrew's primary school in Soham would begin in a fortnight and the school would once again become a happy place.

Condolence book stolen

In an open letter released on Sunday, he said the Cambridgeshire school would make sure the two girls would never be forgotten.

He said it would have a "thoughtful, reflective" atmosphere at the start of term, with counsellors on hand for any staff and pupils who needed support.

St Andrew's primary school head Geoff Fisher
School head Geoff Fisher: We must recover
Meanwhile, a book of condolence dedicated to the murdered schoolgirls has been stolen from Birmingham Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Gordon Mursell, Dean of the cathedral, said: "This mindless theft is a terrible insult both to the people of Birmingham and to the families to whom it was going to be sent."

It has been reported that the media could face trial over the "circus" surrounding events in Soham.

A file on coverage of the girls' deaths has been referred by the Crown Prosecution Service to the Attorney General, according to the Observer newspaper.

There are concerns sections of the press may have breached the Contempt of Court Act by reporting material which could be prejudicial to any future trial, it said.

Sunday prayers were held at St Andrew's Church in Soham, where a sea of flowers and messages from the public is still growing, and where scores of visitors are still arriving to pay their respects.

'Very real tragedy'

In his sermon, Reverend Tim Alban Jones said: "This week there has been scarcely a person who has left the churchyard dry-eyed, many people have been visibly choked up and some have been seen to be weeping openly.

"If it were not for the very real tragedy that has happened here, we might have to pinch ourselves in order to convince ourselves that this really was taking place here."

On Saturday sporting events across the UK - including all football matches, test cricket at Headingley and Rugby League fixtures - held a minute's silence in memory of the two girls.

People in Soham also observed a minute's silence at 1500BST.

Floral tributes to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in St Andrew's Church, Soham
Scores of people continue to pay tribute

St Andrew's School and the nearby secondary school - Soham Village College - remain closed while the police search for evidence continues.

Education officials are preparing contingency plans, such as the use of mobile classrooms, in case pupils cannot return there in September.

But Mr Fisher said he was keen it should be "business as usual as far as possible" when term starts again.

"There will be a thoughtful, reflective atmosphere in the school, but also a sense of moving on, of looking to the future and the challenges ahead.

"This is exactly what Holly and Jessica were doing themselves last term, and what I know they would be doing again if they were returning to school," he said.

Hourly prayers

The bodies of the 10-year-old schoolgirls were found last Saturday, almost two weeks after they went missing from Holly's home in Soham.

An inquest has heard that police still do not know how or when the girls were killed.

Norwich players pay their respects to Holly and Jessica before Saturday's game against Gillingham
Sporting fixtures observed one minute's silence on Saturday
A special memorial service at Ely Cathedral, to be attended by 2,000 invited guests, will be held next week.

A second book of condolence has been opened at the cathedral, where hourly prayers are remembering the girls, after the first one filled up within days.

Former school caretaker Ian Huntley, 28, is being held at Rampton secure hospital accused of murdering Holly and Jessica.

Mr Huntley's girlfriend, Maxine Carr, 25, is on remand in Holloway prison accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Open in new window : Holly and Jessica
Maps showing focus of the investigation

The police investigation is continuing, with several other sites as well as the school still being checked.

Detectives are studying new film taken from a security camera opposite the home of Mr Huntley's father, according to the Sunday Times.

The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
"Detectives have now made a significant discovery"

Click here to go to Cambridgeshire

Latest news


See also:

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |