Soham jury takes time for location trip

Andrew Johnson
Sunday 09 November 2003 01:00

The jury in the murder trial will be taken to the Cambridgeshire village tomorrow to visit key locations connected to the deaths of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.

These include Ian Huntley's house in the grounds of Soham Village College and the ditch where their bodies were discovered 12 days after they disappeared on 4 August last year. Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, told jurors on Friday to "spend as long as you need and look at what you want to" at Huntley's home.

"When you go into the house, I won't need to give you any directions and the less that I say the better," he said.

The judge said the visit would help jurors decide "important features about the location". The visit is scheduled to last two days, with the jury staying in a secret location overnight.

Children in Soham will be given the day off school tomorrow and headteachers have asked parents to keep them away from the town centre and sites to be visited by the jury. Residents are being encouraged to vacate the village during the jury's visit as part of the "Soham Day Out", an initiative organised by local businessman Barry Morris. "I thought it would be good to help people get out," he said. "We've had enough, especially the children."

Police will cordon off the areas to be visited by the jury and they will be considered to be precincts of the court, which will be in session during the period of the visit. The trial will resume at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, when the first prosecution witnesses are likely to be called.