Maxine Carr's solicitor denied reports yesterday that his client would be having plastic surgery to change her appearance in an effort to avoid attacks after she leaves jail.
But Roy James, in an interview with the BBC, did claim her safety had been put at risk because of "scurrilous and inaccurate" reporting of the Soham murder trial.
Mr James said that it was "theoretically" possible for Carr to return home to Grimsby following her release, but said she may opt instead to be given a new identity in an attempt to escape her notoriety.
The cost of providing her with a new name, National Insurance number and address would be paid for from public funds, he said. But he dismissed suggestions that the taxpayer would pay up to £20,000 for her to have plastic surgery to change her appearance. Last week, one newspaper even carried a computer-generated image of how Carr's appearance would be changed.
The publicity about her trial "does affect the public's reaction to her when she is released", he said. "She will be released towards the middle of May next year. This kind of publicity doesn't ensure her safety when she is released."
He added: "There are obviously plans in place, but what those plans are I can't tell you. She could go home and face up to whatever happens. Theoretically she could, but she would have to assess whether that would be a safe thing to do. She then has the option of changing her identity to try to ensure her safety.
"It would be a multi-agency approach, involving the probation service, police and social services, so I would imagine all that would be paid for through public funding. I don't think the public funding issue would go as far as paying £20,000 for plastic surgery."
Carr is expected to be transferred from Holloway prison to serve the remainder of her sentence nearer to her Grimsby home. She was sentenced to three and a half years, but is set to be released on licence next May, having served part of her term while awaiting trial.