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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 

Scum-watch: Reprinting the lies of a murderer.

Ian Huntley is a liar. He has told blatant untruths on multiple occasions, made up an utterly unbelievable story about how he came to murder Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and is quite clearly still in denial about his own role in their deaths. We already knew all of this. Indeed, last August the News of the Screws printed details from the apparent very same audio cassette which the Sun today reports in more detail.

Why has it decided to apparently reprint this sensationalist, sordid, mendacious garbage today? I have no idea. The Sun however makes far more of Huntley pointing the finger at Maxine Carr than the Screws did last summer. Out of all the Sun editorials I've subjected myself to, I think today's is the most vile that I have ever read:

But in confessing, he has done us all one favour.

He has destroyed any lingering suggestion that girlfriend Maxine Carr was an innocent bystander.

If his version is accurate, she was a cold and calculating accomplice in covering up this hideous crime.

Let's get this into perspective. Carr was charged with perverting the course of justice, which she was found guilty of. She was cleared of two counts of assisting an offender, with the jury believing her claims that she lied because she believed Huntley when he told her that they had been in the house but that he had not killed them.
Carr was cross-examined intensely during the trial, with her barrister pointing out in his summing up that some of it was fiercer than that which Huntley faced.

Carr claimed during her evidence that her relationship with Huntley was one which involved abuse. This claim is given credence by the fact
that Huntley had been in a number of relationships with under-age, impressionable girls. The family of the woman who he was briefly married to claimed that he had beaten her so badly that she miscarried the baby she was carrying. Neighbours from where they first lived reported that he used to bark orders at Carr while he did nothing to help around the house. Carr later mentioned in her evidence that his washing of the duvet which the girls' had bled on was the first time he had ever apparently cleaned or washed anything. This ought to have been the first sign that told her Huntley was lying. She apparently, whether because she genuinely believed that he was not involved, or because she was scared of what might happen if she did accuse him or if she told the police her true concerns, both of which she mentioned in her evidence, decided to ignore this. She may well have believed his denials for another reason: Huntley had twice before been accused of raping other women, with Carr both times giving him an alibi. In one of the cases the victim now believes that Huntley was not the man who raped her.

The picture that Huntley tries to paint of Carr is one of a manipulating, scheming woman, more concerned for herself rather than the girls who had gone missing. This seems utterly at odds with the facts:
Carr was turned down for a permanent job at the Soham school because of how close she had apparently become to the children, especially Holly and Jessica. They were so dismayed that she was leaving that they made her a card and sent her chocolates. It was likely their close relationship to Carr that inadvertently led to their deaths; their stop at Huntley and Carr's home, where they asked for her, was Huntley's opportunity. It's true that Carr had been cheating the benefits system and had lied on job application forms, but this seems to have been an exception. She was seen by those around her as being an ordinary and mostly unremarkable young woman. This, combined with her vulnerability and apparent anorexia was what Huntley homed in on.

I could go on, pointing out how Huntley in the tape claims that Carr supposedly took charge out of fear for losing her job when she had already apparently lost it, how he claims that there was no sexual motive to the deaths despite his predatory history, and how he still maintains that he didn't intentionally kill the girls. The public should make their decision about how involved Carr was in the cover-up keeping in mind the fact that a jury, having heard her give extensive evidence, cleared her of helping an offender, while Huntley is a habitual liar who is still in denial about what really happened that fateful day.

This isn't just about Maxine Carr being disgracefully libeled however. While she herself is being put in further flux by the Sun's republishing of these risible claims, those who are unfortunate enough to bear a resemblance to Carr, however slight, are also being put in danger.
Last September I wrote of the tragedy being inflicted both on her and those who have been accused of being her. Since then, according to Wikipedia, Falmouth police have had to issue a statement that she is not living in the Penryn area.

We can expect a further ramping up of the witch hunt against Carr and those who might be Carr given today's front page treatment of Huntley's trite tape. One of the biggest ironies of the obsession with Huntley and Carr is that every front page splash, every small article, every mention of them only serves to remind the families of Holly and Jessica of their dreadful loss. For a tabloid that claims to want justice, it seems remarkable how they're prepared to put the families of victims through their pain time and time again purely out of their own selfish interest, the very thing that Huntley and the Sun are today accusing Carr of thinking only of. The Sun's editorial concludes:

Her involvement, as described, raises grave doubts about her release and her protection at taxpayers’ expense.

Huntley’s prediction that he will go to Hell will come true one day.

If there is any justice, Carr will eventually join him there.

And if Carr or someone mistaken for her is lynched as a result of the vilification campaign led by the Sun, then Rebekah Wade will already have created a hell here on this septic isle.

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They probably saved this till now to keep the government's bad news regarding child poverty figures off the agenda for scum readers.

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