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Journalists testify on Huntley.

Byline: By Vanessa Allen

Soham accused Ian Huntley told a journalist that police had searched his house "and they think I did it" 24 hours after Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman disappeared, his Old Bailey murder trial heard yesterday.

BBC producer Debbie Tubby said Huntley approached her on the night of Monday, August 5, the day after the girls vanished, and said he was the last person to see them and a police suspect.

The jury heard that Huntley later asked her if the girls' clothing had been found - nine days before the girls' naked bodies were discovered in a ditch.

Their clothing had been cut off and the charred remnants were found hidden in a bin at Soham Village College, where Huntley worked as a caretaker. Huntley, 29, denies murdering the 10-year-old friends but has admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice. His ex-girlfriend Maxine Carr, 26, a former classroom assistant at the girls' primary school, denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice and two charges of assisting an offender. The prosecution alleges she gave Huntley a false alibi for the day the girls went missing, Sunday, August 4.

Journalists told the court about interviews with Huntley about his account of seeing the girls just before they vanished, and told how he appeared to choke back tears. And they described how Carr said she was in the bath when he spoke to the girls.

She later admitted she was in Grimsby all weekend. Nazanine Moshiri, a BBC broadcast journalist said Maxine Carr, told her: "I am sorry I loved those two little girls and we are just very upset about it all." However once inside the journalist said Carr's manner had changed and she was now smiling and playing with her hair. The witness said that she thought Huntley felt hounded by the press.

Miss Tubby said Huntley approached her in the car park of the college on Monday night and said the police thought he was the last person to see the girls.

She told the court: "He said that police had searched his house and that they thought he did it."

Three days later she saw him again as she was telling her boss about a planned police news conference about a "significant development". She told the court: "He asked me what the significant development was and I said I did not know. The next question (from him) was `Have they found the girls clothes?"'

The trial continues.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2003
Words:413
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