Carr: 'I didn't believe Huntley did it'

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The Independent Online

Maxine Carr admitted yesterday that she had lied to protect her former lover after Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman went missing, the Old Bailey heard yesterday. Giving evidence for the first time in the Soham murder trial, she insisted she covered for Ian Huntley only because she believed he had not killed the girls.

Ms Carr denies conspiring to pervert the cause of justice and yesterday insisted she would have told police "like a shot" if she had harboured any suspicions about Mr Huntley, who had suffered a nervous breakdown after being accused of a rape before they met. Mr Huntley denies murder.

Ms Carr's barrister, Michael Hubbard QC, said: "Her defence, as you will hear in a minute, is: 'Yes, I lied, but the reason I lied was to protect Ian Huntley from a repetition of what he told me happened to him those years back, and the effect upon him which I have seen since I have been with him. If, for a minute, I knew or believed he had murdered or killed either of those two girls, who were close to me, one of whom sent a card to me, I would be horrified,'' said Mr Hubbard.

As Miss Carr explained her version of events, she challenged several aspects of Mr Huntley's defence. Upon returning home from Grimsby on the Tuesday after Holly and Jessica died, she was surprised that her partner had cleaned his red Ford Fiesta, as well as parts of the house.

The case continues.