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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 09:24 GMT
Prosecution key points: Day One
Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
The girls went missing in August last year
The case against Ian Huntley, the man accused of murdering Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, is being explained to an Old Bailey jury.

Prosecuting lawyer Richard Latham QC was expected to spend up to three days presenting his evidence against Mr Huntley, who denies the charges.

He is also explaining the case against Mr Huntley's former girlfriend Maxine Carr, who denies two charges of assisting an offender and one of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The main allegations made by the prosecution on Day One were as follows:

  • Mr Huntley murdered both girls "for some reason known only to him", shortly after they left Holly's home at 1815 BST on Sunday 4 August, 2002, Mr Latham claimed

  • It was unlikely the defence would dispute the claim the girls went into Mr Huntley's home, that they died soon afterwards and that he took their bodies to the place where they were found, Mr Latham said

  • The focus for the prosecution will be the argument that the girls died in Mr Huntley's home and that this amounted to double murder

  • Mr Latham said Mr Huntley was a manipulative individual who had known precisely what he was up to and "was trying to get away with murder"

  • The former school caretaker took the girls' bodies from Soham and tried to hide them in "such a way that they would never be found", the prosecution claimed

  • Mr Latham asked the jury to consider two questions about Mr Huntley: "One - is this a man who is thinking sensibly, a man who is in control of himself? Two - is this a man who is capable of telling convincing lies?"

  • The prosecution does not believe Ms Carr was directly involved in the murders. It alleges her role was to support Mr Huntley in a "wholly dishonest account of his movements and actions"

    Richard Latham QC says Huntley murdered both girls

  • On Saturday 3 August Ms Carr was in Grimsby with Mr Huntley's parents, visiting her mother, the prosecution claims. She had planned to stay a week but came home early, on 6 August, because of events in Soham, it said

  • Ms Carr lied to police over her and Mr Huntley's whereabouts on the weekend of the girls' disappearance, the prosecution claimed. Phone records proved she was in Grimsby, but she had only confirmed this after her arrest, Mr Latham said

  • A "significant find" led to the arrests of Mr Huntley and Ms Carr at the home they shared, on 17 August

  • By coincidence three members of the public found the remains of Holly and Jessica later the same day

  • Ms Carr had been the girls' classroom assistant and their teacher thought she was unable to create an appropriate distance

  • She applied for the post when it was advertised on a permanent basis, but was unsuccessful

  • Mr Huntley and Ms Carr lived in a house at Soham Village College, which came with Mr Huntley's job as site manager. The prosecution said it could be significant that the home had been refurbished shortly before they moved in

    Tributes to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
    Tributes to the girls have been left outside the court

  • On the day they went missing, the girls had been playing together at Holly's house

  • The search for them began at 2030 BST. The Chapmans' concern was heightened when they called Jessica's phone and found it was switched off

  • The prosecution described what it believed was the route the girls took from Holly's house. It showed the jury CCTV footage of the girls at a sports centre, thought to be at 1827 BST. It said they were seen by a number of witnesses

  • Mr Latham said that on the Sunday, Mr Huntley rented a video at 1431 BST. He was seen again at 1650 BST near the sports centre and next to it at 1815 BST, the prosecution said. The girls would have passed by within 15 minutes

  • Mr Latham said that after 1815 BST, Mr Huntley and his Ford Fiesta were not seen by anyone until 2235 BST. His whereabouts during that period are unknown

  • A last phone signal had come from Jessica's mobile at 1846 BST that evening. The prosecution claims electronic evidence showed it had been sent from the immediate area of Mr Huntley's house

  • Mr Huntley later bumped into a group searching for Holly and Jessica and told them he had not seen the girls, it is claimed

  • At 0100 BST on Monday he bumped into a police officer and offered to help them search the school. Half-an-hour later he told police he had seen the girls, the prosecution said

The BBC 's Duncan Kennedy
"Holly and Jessica's parents arrived at the Old Bailey to hear harrowing evidence"

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