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Maxine Carr faces 20 fraud charges; Security tight for court appearance.

Byline: Andrew Barrow

MAXINE Carr appeared in court today accused of 20 charges of benefit fraud and job deception.

Carr, 27, is accused of obtaining more than pounds 3,300 in bogus benefits and false job applications.

One of the charges relates to her role as a classroom assistant at the Soham school where she befriended murder victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Carr appeared before Peterborough Magistrates' Court this morning to hear the charges, which could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. She entered no pleas to any of the 20 charges.

Magistrate Peter Marshall adjourned the case to the city's Crown Court for a plea and directions hearing on April 23.

One of the housing benefit charges relates to benefit applications Carr submitted while living with boyfriend Ian Huntley in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

Marion Beastin, prosecuting, told the court that Carr had submitted applications for jobs, including the classroom post at St Andrew's Primary school in Soham in 2002, claiming she had passed 10 GCSEs in Lincolnshire. She left school without taking any exams.

The allegations came to light during the Soham murder trial but detectives decided not to continue while the Old Bailey trial was on.

After her appearance, Carr was returned to Holloway Prison in north London.

A crowd of about 50 people had gathered outside the court but there were no outbursts or trouble.

Huntley, former caretaker at Soham Village College, was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in December after he was found guilty of murdering 10- year-olds Holly and Jessica.

Carr was jailed for three years at the same trial for conspiring with Huntley to pervert the course of justice but was cleared of two charges of assisting an offender.


CHARGES: Officers surround the court during Maxine Carr's (inset) appearance
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 26, 2004
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