Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Leave me alone, I'm NOT Maxine Carr

BY CLARE WEIR

A DEVASTATED Ulster woman said today she has been "driven to despair" over false claims that she is Maxine Carr - the woman implicated in the gruesome Soham murders and now living in hiding.

A DEVASTATED Ulster woman said today she has been "driven to despair" over false claims that she is Maxine Carr - the woman implicated in the gruesome Soham murders and now living in hiding.

Despite the fact that Karen Meek, who lives in Coleraine, is a size 18-20 with blonde hair and is mum to two children and step-mother to two more, vicious gossips are claiming that she is the waif-like single woman who was released from prison in May 2004.

In December 2003, Carr (27) was convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice with Ian Huntley, who killed schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. She is now living in a secret location under a new identity.

Karen, who lived in Brighton for a time, has been in Coleraine for 18 months and said she has been a nervous wreck for the last three and a half weeks after receiving a warning from the PSNI. They called her at work asking to talk to her about a matter of "huge sensitivity".

"I met two plain clothes policemen for a cup of tea and they told me they believe there are people in the area who think I am Maxine Carr," she said.

"I was sitting in a coffee shop. I couldn't take it in. I went and told my boss and went home.

"I am a mum and step mum and people know my kids. I can't believe I am being associated with this woman in the first place, but added to that I am a size 18-20, I have blonde hair, different coloured eyes and I wasn't in England at the time the Soham murders happened.

"I can't understand why somebody would want to say these things about me.

"I have been to the doctors and have been put on diazepam, last night was the first time I slept in weeks and I have been staying with friends because I am afraid of getting a petrol bomb through the window. I can't eat, I can't work, I am terrified for my children and my family, I can't answer the door or the phone in case someone is after me.

"If even more than one person thinks I am her, then my life could be in danger. I don't think I'd feel safe if I moved to the moon right now. I have been driven almost to suicide.

"It would be funny if it wasn't so serious and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

"I came here for a better life and it was wonderful - until three and a half weeks ago."

Karen's MP, the DUP's Gregory Campbell, has also urged locals to rubbish any rumours that she is Maxine Carr.

"I would ask people to be sensible," he said.

"Anyone looking at Karen would know she is not Maxine Carr. This gossip has left her unable to work and is damaging her family life, it has to stop now."

The PSNI said they couldn't comment on an individual case.

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