British police have announced that 28-year-old Ian Huntley has been detained under the Mental Health Act and charged with the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

On a psychiatrist's recommendation, he was transferred at 2am today from police custody to a secure unit at Rampton high security hospital, where he is to undergo psychiatric assessment.

Detectives drove to Rampton hospital this evening to formally charge Huntley with the murders.

Doctors have up to 28 days to assess him but can apply for an extension of a further six months if necessary.

Only once that assessment has taken place will the medical team then decide whether the patient is fit to stand trial or enter a plea.

His case was listed to be heard at Peterborough Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning.

But police announced this evening that he will not be attending the court tomorrow. They said his case would be listed when he was deemed fit to attend.

In another development, the former teaching assistant, Maxine Carr, 25, was tonight charged with a single count of perverting the course of justice and remanded in custody until her appearance at Peterborough Magistrates Court tomorrow.

The couple were arrested on Saturday, 17 August, almost two weeks after the 10-year-olds went missing from their homes in Soham.

Meanwhile over 14,000 messages of condolence from around the world have been sent to a website set up in memory of the two girls. It can be found at: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/in_memory.htm