House of horror will be demolished

19th December 2003 at 00:00
The school caretaker's house in Soham where Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered is to be demolished, it was decided this week.

The two-storey house at Soham Village College, where Ian Huntley murdered the two 10-year-old girls, has already been ripped apart by police in their search for evidence.

Speaking after this week's guilty verdict, Howard Gilbert, the secondary school's head, revealed that his governors planned to demolish it so that it would not stand as a constant reminder of the tragic events of last August.

"There will be a formal decision about the house and the hangar (the storage building where the girls' clothes were found) but the proposal is that they will be demolished," he said.

"What will happen on the site has not been decided. But it will certainly never be a caretaker's house again."

Mr Gilbert said Huntley, who had been the school's site manager, had been very enthusiastic and eager to please.

"There were no complaints about his behaviour towards pupils. Not a whisper," he said.

He said pupils at his school, which Holly and Jessica's classmates now attend, had not been affected academically.

Geoff Fisher, head of neighbouring St Andrew's primary where the girls had been pupils, said his school had been inundated with post from well-wishing heads and teachers.

His aim had been to keep life in the school as normal as possible.

He revealed his staff had been pleased with the way Huntley's girlfriend, Maxine Carr, had done her job when she worked as a temporary classroom assistant at the school.

But as time went on they noticed that she was rather immature and she was not offered a permanent position.

"She found it difficult to distance herself from the children," he said.

She had not acted in a sinister way but as if she wanted to be a big sister rather than a staff member.

It has also emerged that despite a lack of qualifications, which she had lied about on her job application, Carr had always wanted to become a teacher.

Mr Fisher, who lives in Soham and has been a head there for more than 20 years, said the trial had not provided the answers the town had been looking for.

"I think that deep down people want to know what went on in there (Huntley's house)," he said.

"We all want to see justice done. We were hoping to get some answers. We haven't got all those answers."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today