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EDITIONS
 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 11:29 GMT
Date set for Soham trial
Maxine Carr and Ian Huntley
The pair were arrested in August
Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr will stand trial on 6 October in connection with the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Trial judge Mr Justice Moses announced the provisional date for the trial at the Old Bailey.

Mr Huntley, 28, of Soham, Cambridgeshire, is accused of murdering the girls and of conspiring with Ms Carr to attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
The girls' disappearance shocked the nation
Ms Carr, 25, also of Soham, also faces charges relating to assisting an offender.

The new charges - initiated last week - relate to accusations that knowing Mr Huntley had murdered the girls - or committed some other offence - she lied about his and her whereabouts, intending to prevent him being caught or prosecuted.

A plea and directions hearing will be held at the Old Bailey between 14 and 16 April.

The pair were not in court for Friday's 40-minute hearing in court number one.

Mr Justice Moses said: "Having regard to the weight and complexity of the evidence, it is clear the trial cannot take place before 6 October."

Floral tributes by St Andrews Church, Soham
Local people rallied around
The judge extended the defendants' custody until the trial, which is likely to last at least eight weeks.

No bail applications were made by Mr Huntley's barrister Stephen Coward QC or Ms Carr's barrister Michael Hubbard QC.

Discussions during the hearing mostly related to the administrative side of the trial, with prosecutor Richard Latham QC laying out his proposed timetable.

Holly and Jessica went missing on 4 August after being seen walking near their homes in Soham.

Their bodies were found in a ditch at Lakenheath, Suffolk, on 17 August.


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