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CARR `LIED HER WAY INTO SCHOOL JOB' Huntley's ex facing 20 raps.

Byline: By Aidan McGurran

MAXINE Carr was yesterday accused of lying to get her primary school job.

Murderer Ian Huntley's former fiancee told bosses at St Andrew's School, where she met his victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, she had a string of GCSEs.

Carr, 27, who is serving a jail term for lying to protect Huntley, left school with no qualifications, magistrates in Peterborough were told yesterday.

She faces a total of 20 charges of fraud and deception and is to stand trial before a jury at a crown court.

The former teaching assistant faced court yesterday for the first time on the fraud charges, which relate to job applications and benefit claims.

During the 34-minute hearing, she spoke to confirm her name, give her date of birth and say her address was 'HMP Prison Holloway'.

Carr sat in the glass-screened dock at the court with one female guard beside her. Her mother Shirley was in court.

Carr, who could face up to 10 years in jail if convicted of the charges, appeared pale but showed no emotion and stared straight ahead.

When asked if she wanted to indicate what any of her pleas would be, she replied: 'No indications.'

Prosecutor Marion Bastin gave magistrates a detailed account of the 20 charges, which were increased yesterday from an original list of 12.

Mrs Bastin said the offences were all alleged to have taken place between 1996 and 2002.

Carr is accused of obtaining pounds 3808 in bogus benefits. Twelve counts involve housing benefit, one jobseekers' allowance and two income support.

It is alleged that she claimed the housing benefit fraudulently while she was already living with Huntley.

On job applications, she claimed she had passed 10 GCSEs when she had really left school without sitting any exams, said Mrs Bastin. She faces five similar charges.

Carr won the job at St Andrew's and worked there during the summer term in 2002, becoming close to both Holly and Jessica.

A week after that term ended, Huntley murdered both girls in the caretaker's home he shared with Carr in Soham.

Carr was visiting her mother in Grimsby, 100 miles from Soham, at the time.

Magistrate Peter Marshall yesterday adjourned the case against Carr to Peterborough Crown Court for a plea and directions hearing on April 23.

Her solicitor Roy James agreed that the case should be committed to crown court.

Cambridgeshire Police have kept Holly and Jessica's parents informed and warned them to prepare themselves for another highly publicised trial.

The magistrates granted 'technical' unconditional bail and legal aid to Carr but she was later returned to prison. It emerged later that she has been transferred to Foston Hall women's jail between Uttoxeter and Derby.

The new prison is closer to her family home.

Yesterday, a major police security operation was in place around the court involving around 50 officers.

The police presence and appeals by local civic leaders appeared to have discouraged a mob from gathering outside the court.

No one was there to see her arrive in a white van at about 9am.

But by the time it came to pick her up, a few dozen people had gathered.

Some of them shouted abuse as she was driven away.

Carr is serving a three-and-ahalf year sentence for perverting the course of justice in the investigation of 10-year-old Holly and Jessica's murders.

During her trial at the Old Bailey, a jury was told how she had repeatedly lied for Huntley during the police inquiry.

Recently, there have been reports Carr, who has previously suffered from anorexia and bulimia, has been refusing to eat since learning that attempts to gain her early release had failed.

CAPTION(S):

IN THE DOCK: An artist's impression of Maxine Carr being handcuffed by a prison officer in court yesterday. Right, Carr. Above right, Carr's mother, Shirley
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 27, 2004
Words:641
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