Church leader urges forgiveness for Maxine Carr

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A church leader last night called for the public to show forgiveness towards Maxine Carr, Britain's most notorious female prisoner, amid growing speculation she will be released from jail within days.

A church leader last night called for the public to show forgiveness towards Maxine Carr, Britain's most notorious female prisoner, amid growing speculation she will be released from jail within days.

Canon Michael Hunter, the rector in Carr's home town of Grimsby, said that the former fiancée of Soham killer Ian Huntley should be seen as a victim and that there were lots of people in the town who would welcome her back.

"She is no danger to anyone. She has told a lie to the police but a lot of people have done that," said Canon Hunter, who preaches at St James's Parish Church.

"I think she is one of Ian Huntley's victims. We should not give way to the bullyboys who say they will cause damage if she comes back to the one place she knows."

Carr was jailed for three years for providing a false alibi and is expected to be released around 17 May, having served half her sentence.

Tomorrow, the 27-year-old, who is currently being held at Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire, will appear in court on fraud charges. The Home Office has refused to comment on reports that Carr may be placed into protective custody after the court hearing to shield her from public protests which are expected on her release.

The vilification of the former classroom assistant in the media has been so extreme that the police and probation services believe it is likely she will have to spend the rest of her life in hiding.

The actual plans for Carr's release have not been made public for security reasons, although she is likely to be taken to a safe house, regularly monitored by the police. Another possibility is that she could be sent abroad but this is unlikely as foreign governments are unlikely to accept someone of such notoriety.

Inspector Steve Page, of Humberside police, said officers would ensure her safety, although he said they have never been told she is planning to return to Grimsby.

"When the probation service decide on the terms and conditions of Maxine Carr's release, the police service will respond to ensure her safe release into the community."

Another area of intense speculation is whether Carr will tell her story by agreeing a deal with a newspaper or broadcaster.

Her solicitors said they had received "hundreds" of requests from Britain and abroad but said she has not decided if she will give an interview or write a book.

There has been a mixed reaction from broadcasters over bids to interview Carr. Sources at Channel 4 said they felt it was difficult to "justify the public interest" in such a programme. However, it is understood the BBC has made a bid for Carr to appear on Real Story, its current affairs programme. The BBC said it could not discuss specific future projects.

Additional reporting by Richard Dean