MAXINE CARR should be given the chance to tell her story in a book, a true-crime publisher said yesterday.

Underworld expert Steve Richards has asked Carr to sign a deal to write about her life with child killer Ian Huntley.

He said his publishing company had made the approach to Carr through a friend of her mother.

Mr Richards, of Mirage Publishing, in Gateshead, said: "Maxine Carr is a victim, not a villain. She is not a Myra Hindley, she is not a Rose West. She is not like that."

Mr Richards said Carr's crime should not be confused with Huntley's.

School caretaker Huntley was jailed for life in 2003 for the murders of ten-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire.

Carr was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice in connection with the case and is now free under the protection of a new identity.

Mr Richards said: "We are currently talking five-figure sums, fast approaching six figures. Such a book could earn Maxine Carr up to £500,000 or £1m, and then there's things like a film on top of that.

"She is unlikely to get a job so she needs a bankroll, a pension if you like, to rely on in later life."

Mr Richards, who has previously written books on Tyneside gangster Viv Graham and helped with a book by armed robber Charles Bronson, said he had already discussed details such as the style of the book, which will look at the couple's relationship leading up to the murders.