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Maxine's mother accused of threat.

Byline: By Dave Higgens

The mother of Maxine Carr told a prosecution witness in the Soham murder trial she would be "dead" if she went to court, a jury was told yesterday.

Shirley Capp, 61, is alleged to have threatened mother-of-three Marion Westerman during a confrontation at the defendant's home in Grimsby.

During a heated argument, Capp told Ms Westerman: "You are dead, watch your back," the jury was told.

Capp is alleged to have made the threats after Ms Westerman gave a statement to police investigating the disappearance and murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman at Soham, Cambs, in August 2002.

Ms Westerman told detectives she saw Carr and boyfriend Ian Huntley looking into the rear of a red car in Grimsby after the girls went missing.

She said Carr was sobbing and Huntley looked pale and thin. Her statement, which was given under the name Clift, was used in the Old Bailey trial.

Yesterday, at Sheffield Crown Court, Ms Westerman told the jury Capp threatened her when she went round to the defendant's house to "smooth the waters" regarding a neighbourly dispute over a cat.

She said Capp blamed her for the fact her daughter had been remanded in custody in Holloway Prison after her arrest.

"She said it was all my fault Maxine was in prison," Ms Westerman told the jury. "She said I was a f****** liar. She also said in my statement I said that the bodies were in the boot of the car, but I didn't." Asked by prosecution barrister Michael Cranmer-Brown what was the last thing Capp had said as she left the house, she replied: "You are dead. Watch your back."

She said she left the house "scared and frightened" with Capp still shouting abuse and threats at her.

She added: "She said I was going to be dead if I went to court."

Asked by Mr Cranmer-Brown how she felt about being a witness, she said: "I didn't want to do it."

"Reason?" Mr Cranmer-Brown asked her. "I want to live," she replied.

Ms Westerman told the jury of six men and six women: "She said that people were going to come down and get me and I didn't know who they were, but they would know me."

Earlier she told the jury Capp confronted her in a shopping centre in the town on the morning of May 13 last year where she told her to "stop your f****** cat sh****** in my garden."

"She carried on shouting and told me to watch by back."

Back at Capp's house, Ms Westerman tried to resolve the problem by giving the defendant a bag of cat repellent, the jury was told.

The court was told Ms Westerman's evidence did not lead to the conviction of Carr on two counts of assisting an offender, of which she was acquitted. Capp denies one charge of intimidating a witness.

The trial continues today.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2004
Words:488
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