Maxine Carr is a notorious criminal who provided a false alibi for her boyfriend Ian Huntley after he killed two schoolgirls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who attended the same class where Carr worked as a teaching assistant. The disappearance of the schoolgirls in August 2002 led to a massive search over 13 days, eventually leading to the discovery of their bodies 10 miles from where they had been killed.
When Huntley became a suspect in the killings, Carr repeatedly lied to police on his behalf causing police to discount him as a suspect, and prolonging the investigation. More than 400 police officers worked on the investigation, the cost of which reached roughly £10 million.
When Carr’s deceit was revealed, she found herself on trial alongside her partner, and both of them would serve time for their crimes. Carr’s mother, Shirley Capp, was also sentenced to six months in prison for intimidating a witness to stop them from testifying in the murder trial. Carr is now the subject of Channel 5true crime drama series Maxine, airing this week.
Who is Maxine Carr?
Maxine Carr is a 45 year old woman from Grimsby, Lincolnshire. She had few friends growing up and struggled academically, though she wanted to become a teacher. She was bullied as a teenager for being overweight and developed an eating disorder.
She left school with no qualifications but later gained a diploma in general care. Carr worked packing fish at a processing factory before she got a part time job as a teaching assistant by lying about her qualifications.
When did Maxine Carr meet Ian Huntley?
Maxine Carr first met Ian Huntley in a Grimsby nightclub when she was 22 and he was 25 - she was there with her boyfriend, but began dating Huntley that same evening. They began living together within weeks of their first meeting. Carr and Huntley moved to Soham in September 2001 after Huntley secured a job as a caretaker at a local college.
Carr found a job at St Andrew’s Primary School where she taught the two children who Huntley would later murder. On 4 August 2002, the day of the murders, Carr had returned to Grimsby to stay with her mother because her relationship with Huntley had begun to break down - he was known to be controlling and abusive towards her.
After Huntley became a suspect in the murder case, Carr gave him a false alibi, saying that he had been with her at the time the murders had taken place. However, Carr had actually been in a nightclub in Grimsby with another man at the time.
Carr also helped to destroy any evidence of the killing from their home, and police initially ruled out Huntley as a suspect. When witnesses came forward to say that Carr had been in Grimsby at the time of the murders, the pair were arrested. At Huntley’s murder trial, Carr infamously turned on her fiancé, calling him, ‘that thing in the box’.
Carr was sent to prison at the same time as her fiancé - she was charged with perverting the course of justice by providing Huntley with a false alibi. She was sentenced to 42 months in prison, while Huntley was sentenced to a minimum term of 40 years. He will not be eligible for parole until 2042.
Where is Maxine Carr now?
Carr served just 21 months of her sentence and was released under a new identity in 2004 - Carr had become known as ‘The Most Hated Woman in Britain’ during her trial, and there were fears that she would be attacked. In 2020 her new identity, location and information about her place of work were made public and she was moved to a safe house.
Carr has had a son since her release and lives in a seaside town with her new husband who she married in 2014 - he was aware of her true identity and his family were reportedly shocked by his decision to marry her.
Carr is protected by a lifelong anonymity order, which means that her identity cannot be revealed while she is alive. Such orders are rarely imposed in the UK - James Bulger’s killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson received one in 2001. Child killer Mary Bell, two teenage girls who killed Angela Wrightson, two brothers who tortured children in South Yorkshire, and a Blackburn teenager who threatened to kill police in Australia are the only other British criminals with lifelong anonymity.
When is Maxine on TV?
The first episode of the miniseries will air on Channel 5 on Monday 10 October at 9pm. There are three hour-long episodes in the series and they will be released at the same time nightly. Episodes will be available to watch on My5 shortly after they are first broadcast.