Carr 'could be out in 30 days'

Maxine Carr could be released from jail in just 30 days' time. She will be allowed to apply for Home Secretary David Blunkett's electronic tagging scheme which frees well-behaved, non-dangerous inmates up to 135 days early.

Even without this concession, her automatic release date would be in only five months. At that point - approximately Monday, May 17 2004 - she will have served half of her three and a half year sentence, including 16 months on remand. With the so-called Home Detention Curfew scheme, prisoners apply for early release and Prison Service staff carry out a risk assessment. This process takes 30 days so Carr could be released at that point, wearing an electronic tag and ordered to observe a curfew - normally overnight.

Tagging the former classroom assistant could bring problems for police and probation officers. She will be forced to stay at one address - otherwise an alarm would be triggered - possibly making her more vulnerable to vigilante attacks.

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