Blunkett orders probe into Huntley job

An independent inquiry into how Ian Huntley got a job as a school caretaker has been announced by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

There were "real concerns" about the way police handled intelligence on Huntley's past, he said.

"This has been a shocking and horrific case and my thoughts are with Holly and Jessica's families," said Mr Blunkett.

"I cannot begin to imagine the pain they must have endured during this dark time.

"I hope they will find some comfort in seeing the man responsible for this wicked act brought to justice."

Mr Blunkett said the inquiry would focus on the effectiveness of intelligence and vetting practices carried out by Cambridgeshire and Humberside police forces into previous allegations made against Huntley.

Huntley had been accused of rape, indecent assault and underage sex with a string of teenagers, but was still able to get a job as a school caretaker in Soham.

The inquiry - chaired by former Whitehall mandarin Sir Michael Bichard - will work "speedily" in a bid to reduce any trauma to the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, Mr Blunkett said.

"Real concerns exist ... about the way in which police intelligence about Huntley's past was handled.

"I am determined that we should uncover the full facts through this independent inquiry," said Mr Blunkett.

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