The Murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
Also known as the Soham Murders occurred on the 4th August 2002. Whilst going to the shops to purchase sweets the two 10-year old girls passed a man named Ian Huntleys house that lured the girls inside and murdered them. Huntley worked as a caretaker in a local school. The girl’s bodies were subsequently found burned (in a bid to remove the possibility of forensic evidence) in a ditch on the 17th August after a large scale police search. Police believe that this attack showed no evidence of premeditated thought and was possibly a result of a fit of rage from Huntley after a fall-out with his girlfriend Maxine Carr. Huntley was tried with two counts of murder on the 3rd November 2003, with the defendant pleading a case of manslaughter claiming the unintentional drowning of Holly Wells whilst stemming a nosebleed and suffocating Jessica Chapman in the process of stifling her screams at seeing what had happened to her friend. The jury rejected these claims and with a verdict of 11-1 found Huntley guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Following the trial it became known that Huntley had a history of allegations of sexual offences with minors, rape and burglary. Given the high-profile nature of the case questions were raised into how Huntley had been passed to work within a school. This was explained by the fact that as no convictions had been made. Humberside Police (where all the alleged offences had taken place) stated that they believed that it was unlawful under the Data Protection Act to hold data regarding allegations which did not lead to a conviction; this was contradicted by other police forces who thought this too strict an interpretation of the Act. therefore the vetting procedure of the time did not uncover any problems. This led to the Home Secretary David Blunkett commissioning an investigation into these revelations. The investigation was led by Sir Michael Bichard who produced the...
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