Anorak

Anorak | Karen Matthews finds God as the Daily Mirror ‘finds’ her

Karen Matthews finds God as the Daily Mirror ‘finds’ her

by | 12th, December 2016

Who is the “most hated mum in Britain”? As kids give their mothers the side eye and Rose WestVanessa George and Tracey Connelly contemplate their respective relegations, the Mirror tells it’s Karen Matthews, mother to Shannon Matthews, the kidnapping victim who wasn’t kidnapped but hidden by her mum in a relative’s flat in Batley Carr, West Yorkshire, where she was tied to a bed and drugged for 24 days. Karen Matthews did it for the £50,000 reward money.

 

Karen Matthew Shannon

 

Today the Mirror tells us Karen “craves forgiveness for snatching” Shannon.

In 2009 Karen was jailed for eight years for kidnaping and drugging of her nine-year-old daughter. Shannon’s step-uncle Michael Donovan, in whose flat Shannon was found, was also sent to prison for eight years.

Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan, of West Yorkshire police, called Karen “pure evil”. Mr Justice McCombe said calling Karen “evil” was “was not a helpful comment” and criticised “hyperbole about this case in some quarters”. Fast forward seven years and Karen Matthews is the “most hated women in Britain”.

But she wants to be loved. She has, says the Mirror, “joined a Bible group to meet new friends, has become a teetotaller and prays every day in an effort to lift her spirits”.

 

Karen Matthews Shannon

 

Now freed, Karen Matthews is suffering: “But the mum-of-seven’s notoriety has left her unable to get a job and she claims she is trying to survive on just £25 a week in benefits. And her weight has soared due to a behind bars diet of chocolate, which also left her teeth rotten.” She wasn’t exactly a workaholic before her incarceration.

Karen meets with the Mirror, which tells readers:”Matthews was gorging on a huge plate of chips at a cafe before going to watch carol singers.Matthews was gorging on a huge plate of chips at a cafe before going to watch carol singers.”

She doesn’t talk to the paper directly, but through a “friend”, who quotes Karen verbatim: “I know I did something wrong but I’m not the baddest person people are making out. I am sorry for hurting people.” Karen poses for no photos, the Mirror making do with grainy, covert-style pictures of Karen at the shops, wearing a hat, partly obscured by shopping bags and framed by what appears to be a car window.

The impression is that the story has been achieved by investigating and not Karen picking up the phone and trying to make a few quid. Was she paid for this story? Was her “friend” paid? Does it matter is money changed hands?

As the Commons says: “There is no law prohibiting convicted criminals from publishing their autobiographies or other writings in which their crimes may be described, or from selling their stories to newspapers or biographical writers.”

Two examples:

In 1998, it was reported that Mary Bell, who killed two toddlers when she was eleven, was receiving payment for helping with a book about her life, Cries Unheard by Gitta Sereny.

There were many reports that Mary Bell had received £50,000 for her contribution, although this was disputed at the time. The book was also serialised in the Times.
In 2003, there was public concern that Tony Martin, who shot and killed a young burglar, had sold his story to the Mirror for £125,000; however the Press Complaints Commission ruled that there had been no breach of the relevant code of practice, instead taking the view that the payment was necessary and that the story was in the public interest.

Is the Mirror testing reaction to this story before it features a series of articles from sweet Karen, of whom we’re told, “Matthews still insists she is innocent and did not snatch little Shannon”?

Reading on we learn that Karen’s no longer living in her native Dewsbury, having moved hundreds of miles away, dyed her hair and adopted a new name – “the same as her favourite Hollywood star.” The Mail doesn’t tell us which one, but if you meet Darth Matthews, pray for her and maybe – just maybe – buy her memoirs.



Posted: 12th, December 2016 | In: Key Posts, Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink