Girlfriend lied out of loyalty

THE girlfriend of a Suffolk man jailed for life for the rape and murder of a charity worker has avoided an immediate prison sentence after admitting lying for him.

THE girlfriend of a Suffolk man jailed for life for the rape and murder of a charity worker has escaped an immediate prison sentence after admitting lying for him.

Ipswich crown court heard how Carla Huggins, 27 acted out of “a sense of loyalty” to 36-year-old Robert McCarry when she falsely told police she had received an anonymous telephone call saying a woman was “all over” her boyfriend in an Ipswich pub on the night of the murder.

Huggins had also lied to police about finding McCarry's mobile telephone near bins outside her home in Vernon Street, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Huggins admitted perverting the course of justice and conspiring to pervert the course of justice and was given a ten month jail sentence suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community.


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Passing sentence Judge John Devaux said McCarry had recruited her to lie for him about receiving a call from a woman in a pub. “It was a lie intended to assist McCarry in allegations of rape and murder and went to the heart of the dispute in the case between the prosecution and defence,” said the judge.

He said McCarry had been the dominant partner in the relationship and Huggins had been waiting since July last year to be sentenced.

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McCarry, of Vernon Street, Ipswich, was convicted of raping and murdering 34-year-old Nicola West in February last year near the dry ski slope at Wherstead and was last week jailed for life with a 19 year minimum term.

His co-defendant Paul Waters, 29, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich was also jailed for life after being convicted of her murder and was told he must serve at least 13 years.

Both men were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice after driving around the country for two days with Miss West's body in the boot of Water's Ford Escort car.

McCarry was also convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and Waters was convicted of attempting to rape her.

Charles Riddleston for Huggins said his client had acted out of a sense of loyalty to McCarry when she lied for him and had also tried to distance herself and her children from what had happened by saying she had found his phone outside her flat.

He said: “McCarry manipulated her at a time she believed she loved him.”

He said her relationship with McCarry was now over and she had not responded to letters from him.

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