Ian Huntley documentary shows overhaul of police intelligence

Ian Huntley documentary shows overhaul of police intelligence

Last night the first part of the new documentary Soham: The Murder of Holly and Jessica was aired on Channel 5.

The two-part show will examine the two weeks surrounding the murder of 10-year-old schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002.

Grimsby-born Ian Huntley worked as a caretaker at Soham Primary School, living with his then-girlfriend Maxine Carr who worked as a teaching assistant at St Andrew’s.

For 14 grueling days, the nation watched as police carried out frantic searches for the two girls, who had left Holly’s home one Sunday afternoon before vanishing.

It was two weeks after their disappearance that Holly and Jessica’s bodies were sadly found in a ditch near the RAF base 12 miles away from Mildenhall.

Following Huntley’s conviction, the Bichard Enquiry leads to an overhaul of police intelligence, record keeping, and vetting procedures in schools.

Ian Huntley had been previously investigated for rape and underage sex with young girls before moving away from Grimsby.

He allegedly targeted young girls in the 1990s but there was not enough evidence to convict him.

While social services investigated these claims, Humberside Police were also looking into three other claims from women who stated that Huntley had raped them.

Huntley was never convicted for these crimes.

The nation was rightly outraged when they learned of Huntley’s dark past and his ability to still be hired as caretaker in a primary school.

The convicted killer was born and raised in Grimsby, before attending Immingham comprehensive school.

It was revealed in the documentary by Ian’s former friends that he enjoyed meeting up with girls in lower school years.

Following his departure from school, Ian was investigated in connection with four alleged rapes within two years, three allegations of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and one of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old.

In 1995 he married Claire Evans but their marriage broke apart due to his violent temper.

In his early 20s, he was accused of raping an 18-year-old girl in Gas Alley in Grimsby, having first met her in a Grimsby nightclub.

The allegation was investigated and Huntley was initially charged and appeared at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court but the case was not prosecuted because of evidence of them kissing on the dance floor.

However, none of this information ever passed his future employer’s desk and he was hired as a caretaker at Soham Primary School in Cambridgeshire.

The documentary went on to examine how Carr had vouched for Huntley, despite having been 100 miles away visiting her mother in Grimsby at the time of the murder.

Carr’s alibi and testimony caused Huntley to be crossed off the suspect’s list despite his violent past.

A member of the public in Grimsby spotted Huntley doing brazen TV interviews defending himself when the two girls first went missing, alerting Humberside Police.

He was later arrested in Cambridgeshire.

He is currently serving two life sentences for a minimum of 40 years at HMP Frankland Prison in County Durham.

Dubbed “monster mansion,” the prison houses the likes of Levi Bellfield who murdered Milly Dowler, 13, and Hashem Abedi, the brother of Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.