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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 01:13 GMT 02:13 UK
Carr 'may seek bail'
Maxine Carr
Maxine Carr's court appearance drew angry crowds
Maxine Carr, the woman charged in connection with the killings of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, may seek to be released on bail, it has emerged.

Solicitor Roy James said that a safe house would have to be provided before he would apply for the former teaching assistant to be released.

Speaking to the Law Society's Gazette he added that bail would have been granted automatically in a similar case without such great media interest.

Ms Carr, 25, is currently on remand in London's Holloway Prison, after being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Her boyfriend, Ian Huntley, is being held at a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act, charged with murdering the 10-year-olds.

The best friends' bodies were found in Suffolk on 17 August, almost two weeks after they went missing from their home town of Soham, in Cambridgeshire.

'Early stage'

Mr James said many people had "misunderstood" the case against Ms Carr.

Holly Wells (left) and Jessica Chapman
Holly and Jessica vanished from Soham on 4 August
"She has not been charged with the girls' murder and if the media background to the case is ignored she would be granted bail as a matter of course," he said.

"Although the case is at a very early stage, we are considering bail if a safe house can be provided."

If she were granted bail the address of her safe house would be known only to her solicitors, police and the court authorities.

Its location would have to be agreed by the court and would not be made public.

Hearings

Ms Carr, who could receive a life sentence if found guilty, has been held in Holloway's high-security segregation unit since her first appearance at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on 22 August.

The appearance was marked by angry protests from a crowd of several hundred people.

Police were so concerned about the potential for further demonstrations that a special video link was set up for her second hearing, last Thursday.

Mr James said it was likely the link would be used again for her next hearing on 27 September.

'Political reasons'

Mr James said he believed the cases against Ms Carr and Mr Huntley, 28, would go ahead, despite his "great concerns" over the press coverage they have received.

Ian Huntley, 28
Ian Huntley has yet to appear in court
"I am realistic enough to know that the judge will not throw the cases out because of the media interest," he said.

Mr James added: "For political reasons, I don't believe that the Attorney-General will impose reporting restrictions, and so we will simply have to put up with the press coverage."

Staff at Holly and Jessica's school have now been allowed into parts of the building, to get ready for the start of the new term next week.

Police said their search of the school is drawing to a close.

The funerals of both girls, which will be private, family services, are also expected to take place this week.


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