Anorak | Shannon Matthews: Bratz, Mystic Babies And Sir Norman Bettison

Shannon Matthews: Bratz, Mystic Babies And Sir Norman Bettison

by | 18th, March 2008

shannon-m.jpg SHANNON WATCH Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Shannon Matthews
Shannon Matthews has been in the care of the local authority since she was found. The media had a few hours to speculate and focus on Shannon “what ifs” but now the shutters are down. The man has been charged and will appear in court today.

DAILY MAIL : “Don’t let Shannon go home because her mother’s not ‘ready’, say her grandparents”

You can always interview the family.

“We just don’t want Shannon going back to that house. She can stay with us,” said the nine-year-old’s grandfather Gordon Matthews. “I don’t think that Karen and Craig are ready to look after her properly. While all this has been happening, we had Shannon’s brother and sister staying here with us and they were both so happy – they didn’t want to go back.”

Wonder why? Let’s speculate…

He and his wife June are fearful that Shannon, who is in foster care after her 24- day abduction ordeal, could soon be back at home. Mrs Matthews, 64, added: “I have been thinking of Shannon going back to Karen. It’s just not right. Karen was a great mum before she took Craig in. Since he arrived they’ve had a terrible life.”

Craig Meehan is innocent. Why mention him?

Mr Matthews added: “Craig is like a tiny child. He’s so immature. He rings Karen all the time on the phone, literally 20 times a day.”

Maybe it’s love? Maybe Karen Matthews likes children?

“Karen is like a taxi service for him. She picks him up and drops him off everywhere. I have never liked him and I don’t want Shannon going back to her mother while he is around, you just wouldn’t want him looking after your child.”


Shannon Matthews will not return to her mum and stepdad but will be looked after by specialist carers. Police chief Sir Norman Bettison confirmed that the nine-year-old will not be going home just yet to Karen Matthews, 32, and 22-year-old Craig Meehan for the moment.

Norman Bettison. West Yorkshire’s leading copper. After listening to the grandparents, listening to Norman is the next story. Prepared to update the Wikipedia entry , sir!

Says Sir Norman B-E-T-T-I-S-O-N: “She is safe. She’s well. She’s in the place where we think that she’s safest at the moment.”

He singles out Detectives Paul Kettlewell and Nick Townsend who refused to leave when they got no answer at a flat where neighbours said they could hear a child’s footsteps. They watched the front and back entrances and called for a battering ram. They broke down the door and discovered Shannon.

Says Chief Constable Sir Norman: “I think it is amazing and I think it is a question of pride for me that they started to make inquiries of the neighbours. Given this was the 700th action they had undertaken since the start of the investigation…

“It’s been phenomenal and it’s been unprecedented [“You’ve already used ‘amazing’ sir!] and let me tell you where I’m standing it’s been entirely professional. It’s painstaking methodical work.”

Of his officers: “They’re special people, extraordinary people doing an extraordinary job.”

Wikipedia : Sir Norman Bettison the Amazing, phenomenal, extraordinary, unprecedented…

What of Shannon’s parents?

Karen and Craig had bought a Bratz Chloe doll for her homecoming but sent her a Mystic Babies toy when they realised she would not be back.

The significance of toys cannot be overstated. What can it mean?

THE SUN : “Prezzies and prayers for Shannon”

SHANNON Matthews was bought a doll by her relieved mum yesterday – hours before the man held over the nine-year-old’s kidnap was charged. Two detectives accompanied Karen, 32, and Shannon’s 22-year-old stepdad as they shopped for goodies to give the youngster after her 24-day ordeal.

What do you get Shannon?

Karen and her partner returned to their semi with a Chloe Bratz doll and Mystic Babies toy…Yesterday The Sun chipped in with MORE Bratz toys for her. We delivered a sackful of gifts to her house on behalf of our readers. They included Easter eggs for her brothers Tony, 11, Cameron, five, and sister Courtney, two.

What about the other children? And what make of Easter Egg is it? Sun readers demand to be told how they are being represented…

Grateful Karen said: “Thanks very much for the presents – they are very much appreciated.”

That’s the parents. Any news, you know. Of Sir Norman?

Sir Norman explained: “Talking to a nine-year-old is not a question of sitting them down with a pen and piece of paper. It’s been ten minutes and 15 minutes at a time while we have been building up the information – the evidence that we need in order to take this investigation further.”

Whoah, wing commander. Slow down, sir Norman. Wikipedia doesn’t write itself…

FERGUS SHANAHAN : “Shannon must not be allowed home”

“How can Shannon Matthews go back to the hell she has had to call home? How can she be allowed to live in that mad managerie of fractured relationships, bitter resentments, shouted insults and warring relations?”

Shanahan investigates. And his judgement: “The truth is that we don’t know the truth.”

Such are the facts…


It’s Sir Norman Bettison B.E.T.T.I.S.O.N:

Sir Norman said: “The jigsaw pieces came together and gave us what we needed to give Paul and Nick the opportunity to go to an address on Friday morning. Given that this was the 700th action they had undertaken since the start of the investigation, I think it is amazing.

“It is a question of pride for me that they then made inquiries of the neighbours and they heard for the first time about the pitter-patter of the girl’s footsteps in the maisonette above them.”


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Posted: 18th, March 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (94) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink