It was striking that this week, murder trials began in England (at the Old Bailey in London) and in Germany (Eschweiler). In both cases, two children were murdered. In both cases, there were reports in the press for weeks and openly expressed public indignation about the murderers. In both cases, there are two defendants: in England, however, only one of the defendants, Ian Huntley, is being tried for murder – his then girlfriend, Maxine Carr, is charged with assisting an offender and conspiring to do acts with a tendency to pervert the course of public justice.
In the German trial, the defendants have admitted killing the two children. In the English trial, Huntley has admitted that the children died after entering his house.
The English report summarizes the case as introduced by the prosecution. The German report summarizes the indictment, which has a comparable function.
Here are the counts (Anklagepunkte) of the English case, quoted from the Independent:
bq. Count One – Ian Huntley is alone charged with murder. “The particulars are that on a day between August 3, 2002, and August 18, 2002, he murdered Jessica Aimee Chapman.” [left]
Count Two – Ian Huntley is alone charged with murder. ” … on a day between August 3, 2002, and August 18, 2002, he murdered Holly Marie Wells.” [right]
Count Three – Maxine Carr is charged with assisting an offender. “Ian Huntley having committed an arrestable offence, namely the murder of Jessica Chapman, Maxine Carr, between August 3, 2002, and August 18, 2002, knowing or believing the said Ian Huntley had committed the said offence, … she provided false accounts of her whereabouts for Ian Huntley on August 4, 2002, and August 5, 2002, with intent to impede the prosecution of Ian Huntley.”
Count Four – Maxine Carr faces a similar charge of assisting an offender in the case of Holly Wells.
Count Five – Maxine Carr is charged with conspiracy to do acts tending or intended to pervert the course of public justice. “She conspired with Ian Huntley to do acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice in that they agreed they would falsely maintain to police that the said Maxine Carr was in Soham in Cambridgeshire on August 4, 2002, and on August 5, 2002, and therefore they were able to corroborate the account of the said Ian Huntley.”
It was unexpected (to me) in the English report that the girls died immediately or soon after going into Huntley’s house.
The jury were told they would be going to look at the location.
English Crown Court trial: one judge and 12 jurors. German Schwurgericht trial: 3 professional judges and 2 lay judges.