Maxine Carr has turned on her former lover Ian Huntley in an emotional outburst during a second day of questioning at his murder trial, accusing him of forcing her to lie to protect him. “I’m not going to be blamed for what that ‘thing’ in the box has done to me or those children,” a visibly upset Carr said on Thursday as she pointed at her former fiancée Huntley, who is accused of murdering Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. “He killed those children,” Carr said.

Carr, a 26-year-old former teaching assistant who worked at the school Holly and Jessica attended, is charged with assisting an offender and conspiring to pervert the course of justice. She denies the charges, but admits she lied to the police.

Huntley, 29, denies murdering the girls but has admitted that Holly died in the bathtub of the house he shared with Carr after he tried to help her with a nosebleed. He has told the court he killed Jessica when he covered her mouth with his hand to stop her screaming.

On Wednesday, giving evidence in person for the first time, Carr described how she and Huntley concocted a false story about the evening the 10-year-olds died in August, 2002.

During the frantic search for the girls, Carr told police and journalists she was in Soham, Cambridgeshire, with Huntley when she was actually 100 miles away in Grimsby with her mother.

“I was pushed into a corner,” Carr said. “Mr Huntley put me into a position where I couldn’t do anything but do that (lie).” She said Huntley was an “abusive person who controls you.”

Carr said Huntley told her the girls had visited him at his home the night they disappeared, but she insists she never knew they died there until it was put to the jury.

When asked what she would have done if she had known or suspected the girls died in the house she shared with Huntley, Carr said:

“I would have been out of that house like a shot, straight to police or straight to the nearest person to tell them”. Asked on Thursday by her lawyer whether she had slept in the same bed as Huntley up until their arrests she said, “yes”.

Earlier, prosecutor Richard Latham had put it to Carr that she knew the girls were dead well before their bodies were discovered.

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