How fatal attraction turned to hatred

The love affair between Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr began in the most ordinary circumstances when they met in a Grimsby nightclub in 1999.

It ended in the most extraordinary circumstances four years later after Carr dramatically pointed across the floor of the most famous court in the land and referred to her co-defendant as "that thing".

For most of their time together they were no different from other couples - but Huntley and Carr's journey from Hollywoods nightclub to Number One Court of the Old Bailey took one fateful and nightmarish turn.

On the first weekend of August 2002 Carr decided to visit relatives in Grimsby and leave Huntley home alone.

By the time she had returned, her fiance had murdered Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman after enticing them into the home they shared.

Carr hastened their downward spiral by deciding to lie in a futile attempt to throw detectives off her boyfriend's trail.

Less than two weeks later they were under arrest.

And their journey ended with Huntley and Carr

sitting alongside each other in the dock, by now the most infamous and hated couple in the UK.

The first time their cases were joined together was at Norwich Crown Court on Friday November 15 2002 - the day notorious child killer Myra Hindley died at a hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Now the names Huntley and Carr were to be etched in the annals of British crime alongside those of Ian Brady and Hindley - although Huntley's crimes, terrible as they were, are no match for Brady's and Carr can in no way be compared to Hindley.

Love at first sight

Carr said she and Huntley "hit it off" straight away when they met at Hollywoods nightclub, which is now closed. She said it may have been "love at first sight".

But that love died as she sat in her cell on remand at Holloway Prison, north London, at the end of last year contemplating what Huntley had done.

When they first met, Huntley had a temporary job as an office supervisor at an insurance company in Market Rasen, Lincs.

Both were products of broken homes who had lived less than four miles apart as children.

Huntley's home was on an estate in Immingham, five miles from Grimsby, while Carr grew up in the village of Keelby.

Soon after meeting, they began living together at a terrace house in Veal Street, Grimsby.

'Turbulent relationship

It was an odd and turbulent relationship, according to friends and neighbours.

"We used to hear terrible rows and screams coming from their house. She would be crying and he would be screaming and it used to go on through the night," said one former neighbour.

"But if you passed them in the street, you wouldn't think they would be capable of such violent outbursts."

A friend of the couple told reporters: "Ian and Maxine were very odd together. They met in 1999 and Maxine moved in with him very quickly.

"At the time Ian was living in yet another rented room and they moved swiftly from place to place.

Ian is slightly older than Maxine and the bond between them is very strong."

Despite the nature of their relationship, the couple stayed together.

Move to East Anglia

In September 2001 they began the next leg of their journey, deciding to start a new life in East Anglia where Huntley's parents were now living.

Huntley had decided to become a school caretaker, like his father, Kevin.

He got a job as site manager at Soham Village College secondary school in Soham, where he would manage a small team of caretakers.

Carr, who had an ambition to teach, became a temporary class assistant at the neighbouring St Andrew's Primary School, where she met Holly and Jessica.

After getting the job, Huntley and Carr lived with his father for a few weeks while the caretaker's house at 5 College Close, Soham, was decorated.

"He had been living with his father and it wasn't easy. I think Maxine wanted her own home," said Margaret Bryden, the school's vice principal and Huntley's line manager.

Mrs Bryden said when she visited she found the house to be "very clean and tidy".

They had wallpapered the lounge and put transfers on the tiles in the kitchen.

"That was them creating a home rather than a house," she added. "I think the house was maintained by Carr."

But life did not run smoothly for the couple.

Huntley had problems with his new managerial role, Carr lost her temporary job at the end of the 2002 summer term and the couple's relationship remained turbulent.

Mrs Bryden said Huntley would sometimes leave her office in tears if he was criticised over his work.

He also confided in her about his often-stormy relationship with Maxine Carr.

"He said she hadn't got the job at the primary school and she was very upset, and he didn't know how he was going to cope at that particular time," said Mrs Bryden.

"There were occasions he said he had an argument with Maxine, shouting and throwing things at each other.

"He would make a reference to a relationship where Miss Carr would be telling him what to do."

Huntley and Carr's world changed forever when she left to visit her mother Shirley Capp in Grimsby on the weekend of Saturday August 3.

He called her on the Sunday night, becoming annoyed because she said she was going out with her mother.

Huntley told jurors that he put the phone down on Carr a few minutes before Holly and Jessica arrived outside his house.

That call was the final piece of normality the couple would share together.

When Carr returned on Tuesday, Holly and Jessica were dead, and the police and the press were swarming around Soham.

Huntley and Carr concocted a web of deceit in an attempt keep the police away.

But their efforts were in vain.

They were soon under arrest and beginning the final stretch of their journey that would end at the Old Bailey on Thursday December 4 when Carr sobbed, pointed at her ex-lover in the dock and shouted: "I'm not going to be blamed for what that thing in that box has done to me or those children."

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