Maxine has now been moved from prison. Chris and Sheila broke news and Martin is still live outside the prison in Derby.
“Maxine Carr’s life sentence starts the day she is released
By Philip Johnston
Later this week, a somewhat pathetic, waif-like young woman will be released from a three-and-a-half year prison term imposed for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Her freedom will come at the half-way point of her sentence, as it does for most offenders convicted of similar crimes. The difference is that for Maxine Carr, the future is, at best, bleak and, at worst, laden with menace.
Her association with Ian Huntley, one of the most notorious murderers of recent times, has led to a campaign of demonisation that seems only to have been designed to portray her as a participant in the brutal killings of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells even though she was many miles away on the day they died.
After her appearance in court on Monday, where she pleaded guilty to 20 offences of benefit fraud and deception, one tabloid newspaper said she had admitted to a string of lies “which led ultimately to the murders”. Another carried a photograph of a handful of bystanders outside the court, apparently screaming abuse and “showing the venom that Carr can expect for the rest of her life”.
For weeks, the same newspapers have regaled readers with stories that she is going to establish a new life in Australia, or Sweden, or Canada and that millions of pounds are to be spent on special security measures and plastic surgery. You can be certain that the harshest criticism of the likely cost of protecting her will be from those who have made it necessary.
There is something distinctly unsavoury about this lynch-mob mentality that seems determined to reserve a place for Carr alongside Myra Hindley in the hierarchy of female evil.
This is not to exonerate her of all guilt. She was convicted by a jury of telling the police lies to protect Huntley, with whom she lived and whom she says she loved. But she was found not guilty of the far more serious charge of assisting Huntley, knowing that he had murdered the girls.
There are some newspapers that seem quite unwilling to accept that verdict. To them, it is inconceivable that she did not know what Huntley had done and, therefore, should accept a share of the damnation that Huntley deserves.
As a result, Carr will need to change her name and appearance, before disappearing into a nether world of safe houses, CCTV cameras and panic buttons, certainly for years, and possibly for the rest of her life.
Perhaps there are people who, unbidden, would have targeted Carr simply because she was Huntley’s girlfriend; but one suspects that most would have seen her as a rather stupid and gullible individual, unable to come to terms with the fact that the man she had shared a home and a bed with was capable of such appalling deeds.
In the normal course of events, Carr would have been quietly released several weeks ago under the Government’s home detention curfew (HDC) scheme. This was introduced by Labour to ease prison population pressures by allowing offenders sentenced to less than four years to leave prison up to 90 days earlier than their normal earliest release date. They wear an electronic tag and have to report regularly to a probation officer.
Thousands of criminals who have committed worse crimes than Carr have been released under this scheme. Many law-abiding people may consider it wrong that offenders should even be freed at the half-way stage of their jail term, let alone earlier.
But the Home Office is not only enthusiastic about the scheme it devised; it has been extended since its inception from 60 days early release to 90 days. Governors are encouraged to use it unless the inmate is violent or has been convicted of a sex crime. Not only that; there is a presumption in favour of release.
Indeed, the governor of Holloway, where Carr was being held at the time, recommended that she should be released on curfew. As a model inmate, she satisfied all the necessary conditions, so why was she not allowed to participate?
The reason is that David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, and Martin Narey, the head of the newly created National Offender Management Service, changed the rules specifically to keep her inside.
As Carr’s counsel said in court on Monday: “They moved the goalposts.” The justification they gave was that it would attract “huge adverse publicity”. Mr Narey also said there were concerns for Carr’s safety at the address she wanted to live at in her home town of Grimsby.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Messrs Blunkett and Narey were worried that they would be castigated by the tabloid newspapers for letting her out early. It would also have exposed the HDC scheme to the sort of scrutiny that they were probably happy to avoid.
The scheme is, however, discretionary, and it was possible for the governor, simply and quietly, to have turned down her request, although this might have invited a legal challenge. But, in the event, a great public show was made of denying Carr an early release, thus contributing to the proxy villainy that means she will spend the rest of her days looking over her shoulder.
Canon Michael Hunter, rector of Grimsby, this week said Carr’s greatest misfortune was to have been Huntley’s girlfriend. He added: “I hope that mature reflection will enable us to see that people cannot be condemned simply because of associations.”
But mature reflection has been woefully absent in the treatment of Carr since the Soham trial last year. She played no part in the murders and should not be treated as though she did. Yet there seems to be an atavistic desire to replace the iconic 1960s photograph of Myra Hindley, now dead, with that taken of Carr at the time of her arrest.
People are entitled to be indignant, even outraged, that she did not tell the police the truth and thereby gave Huntley an alibi that eventually fell apart. Her involvement in systematic benefit fraud indicates the nature of her character. But Huntley was the killer and is now locked away for good. Carr’s sentence may have only just begun
In terms of Maxine Carr herself. As a fellow human being I recognise that criminally she is guilty of a fairly insignificant crime and has completed the punishment. However, I disagree on the matter of being guilty of association. What Ian Huntley did was awful beyond words and she deserves her lack of freedom for many years to come, becuase she lied and that helped him to cover it up.
Yes, Sky seem to have had an exclusive over this. Martin Brunt has been doing some investigative journalism, and well these seems to be the results.
Martin Brunt seems to think the dramatic conclusions he wants to make his report the top story are more important than the actual facts. Ie. he was saying that the details of Carr’s new identity and address were contained in the file… which they weren’t, and that it meant the police were having to make her a new identity… which they haven’t, and that it has disrupted the whole plan for her release tomorrow… which it hasn’t – it is going ahead as planned. And yet, he is still spouting this nonsense.
Maybe he knows something we don’t though. They might be bluffing when they say they will release her tomorrow.
Carr is expected to “vanish” thanks to the stringent High Court injunction preventing details of her new identity becoming public.
Several media organisations are expected to challenge the injunction in court today.
Do you think that Maxine should get any protection?
She should not be given any help whatso ever-2 children were brutally murdered because of her.that fu**ing cow cud have prevented it.
sorry for language johnnie
However, to suggest she could have prevented this terrible crime is incorrect. Her crime, for which she has paid the price, was to pervert the course of justice…she lied.
She will serve for the rest of her life anyway, because everyone will recognise her, unless she has plastic surgery and turns into a man.
Then she might be safe.
all she had to do was go to the police well,anyway, sure she is going to hell anyway and hopefully live a life of hell aswell!
That would not have prevented the murders though would it.
Jonathan Samuels’ report suggests she might have plastic surgery. Maybe they could turn her into Jordan, and Jordan could go and live in the outback with Peter Andre. No one would suspect a thing.
Yes, or with Adam Boulton in his Westminster pad!
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