Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Publisher scraps Carr book deal

Maxine Carr
Carr was granted indefinite anonymity by a court

A Tyneside publisher says he has pulled out of a deal to tell Maxine Carr's story because of public opposition.

Steve Richards, of Gateshead-based Mirage Publishing, was responding to protest calls to a BBC radio station.

Mr Richards says he now plans to publish a book by a former victim of Soham killer Ian Huntley.

The 27-year-old former girlfriend of Huntley was granted indefinite anonymity after serving 21 months for lying for him.

Mr Richards said he was about to finalise negotiations with Carr's family to tell her story, which he claimed could have been worth up to 2m.

I am a man of integrity. I am not a ruffian or someone who breaks the law
Steve Richards
He said he believed Carr was herself a "victim" and had been punished for being a "loyal partner" to Huntley.

The former classroom assistant, originally from Grimsby in Lincolnshire, was convicted in December 2003 of conspiring to pervert the course of justice with Huntley, who killed schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002.

Carr had given Huntley a false alibi by lying about her whereabouts on the weekend when the two 10-year-olds were killed.

Mr Richards said Carr needed a "pay day" to rely on in future life.

'Parasite actions'

But after speaking on BBC Radio Newcastle, scores of people called to protest at the book plan.

And David Hines, chairman of the North of England Victims Association, hit out at the "parasite actions of publishers who help criminals profit from their past crimes".

Mr Richards said he was close to signing a deal with Carr after lengthy negotiations with her family.

But he said: "I am a man of integrity. I am not a ruffian or someone who breaks the law.

"I promised that if we had calls against the Maxine Carr then I would stand down from doing the book.

"I have been in talks with a former victim of Huntley's and we plan to tell her story."

Carr was given a new identity in May last year.


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