Anorak | Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan Denies, Roy Greenslade Writes And Whispers

Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan Denies, Roy Greenslade Writes And Whispers

by | 10th, March 2008

shannon-matthews-new.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews


The media carries much news of how missing Shannon Matthews is being ignored. A smaller reward. Just one celebrity friend. The picture of a missing child. A child not there.

She is not Madeleine McCann, say the papers. Her stepfather Craig Meehan is not erudite Gerry McCann. But he is “beleaguered”. Fingers are being pointed. Speculation. Whispers. If not Gerry McCann, is Craig Meehan the Mirror’s “creepyRobert Murat?

“I THINK HE’S A DECENT GUY..Missing Shannon’s real dad backs under-fire stepfather.”

Says Leon Rose: “I’ve always thought he was a decent guy. Whenever I went to pick up Shannon he’d be around. It was obvious she looked up to him. If she’s got time for him, then so have I.”

Whisper: “Shannon’s grandmother June Matthews claimed at the weekend that he was a sinister presence in the family home.”

Whisper: “Worried uncle Martin Matthews said Shannon told him that Craig hit her and begged to stay at his house the day before she disappeared.”

Says Craig Meehan, who has lived with “mum of seven Karen” for four years: “I’ve never laid a finger on Shannon. To tell the truth, these allegations say more about Karen’s mother than they do about me. She’s never liked any of Karen’s ex-partners and is always trying to make trouble for us. She wants to rule Karen’s life.”

Says Uncle Martin Matthews: “Shannon came here at teatime. She said to me ‘Please can I stay here tonight? I can’t go home as I’m in trouble’.

Says Uncle Martin: “Shannon has shown me bruises on her arms and told me Craig lashed out at her.”

Says “Grandmum” June: “Karen was a great mum before she took Craig in. Those kids were loved and cared for. Since he arrived, they’ve had a terrible time.”

Karen Matthews says “Rubbish”.

Fingers are pointed. Whispers. One fact: Shannon Matthews is missing. But no yellow ribbon in the Mirror’s masthead. No solidarity. Just introducing the family. One by one. No yellow ribbon. Not yet…

GLASGOW DAILY RECORD: “I Never Hit Shannon Matthews, Claims Her Stepdad.”

THIS IS LONDON: “Missing Shannon pleaded to uncle the night before she disappeared: ‘Please let me stay’”

Martin Matthews is pictured. He is sat on a sofa. He says the missing nine-year-old told him: “Please can I stay here tonight – I can’t go home because I’m in trouble.”

Martin Matthews. He is sat on a sofa. He is sat between his parents. June and Gordon Matthews. Karen Matthews mum and dad. Arms around one another. Pictures being taken. Says Uncle Martin Matthews: “She sobbed all the way home because she was frightened. But I told her to go back. I regret it now. The next day she vanished.”
June Matthews. She is sat on a sofa. She is sat with her husband, Gordon, and son, Martin. Arms around one another. Pictures being taken. Says June Matthews: “We’re not saying this lightly, we know how serious these allegations are, but Karen needs to tell him to leave. We’re doing this for her sake and the children’s sake.”

Martin Matthews tells the reporter: “She came here at tea time the day before. She is good friends with my kids, Tyler and Levi and often comes here to play. But this time it was different. She was upset and kept asking to stay the night. For some reason she didn’t want to go home.”

He tells how sobbing Shannon pleaded: “Please let me stay here. I don’t want to go home. I’m in trouble.” He continued: “She said she had an argument with Craig and swore at him. As a result she was grounded. I told her she really shouldn’t stay and she should go home, especially if she was grounded…”

GUARDIAN: “Shannon: portrait of a mother’s anguish”

Roy Greenslade writes: The media’s continuing concern about its differing reactions to the disappearances of four year-old Madeleine McCann and nine-year-old Shannon Matthews has been explored yet again in the Sunday Telegraph in a fine piece by Olga Craig. Just as the Independent on Sunday asked the week before, she wonders why Shannon’s disappearance has not been at the forefront of national attention…

But what distinguishes the Craig article is the way in which she paints a poignant portrait of Mrs Matthews’s obvious anguish. Three weeks on from the day her daughter failed to arrive home, it is one of the most sympathetic description of Shannon’s mother to appear in print.

Madeleine McCann and how to tell a grim story

Posted: 10th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (1,161) | TrackBack | Permalink