Anorak News | Shannon Matthews: Karen Matthews Arrested, Sentenced To Life In Jail And Counting The Kids

Shannon Matthews: Karen Matthews Arrested, Sentenced To Life In Jail And Counting The Kids

by | 9th, April 2008

karen-matthews-jail.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Shannon Matthews


The mother of kidnapped schoolgirl Shannon Matthews was charged last night with perverting the course of justice and child neglect. Karen Matthews, 32, was dramatically charged after two days of questioning by detectives.

She will appear before Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court this morning. If found guilty, the mother-of-seven could face a maximum penalty of life behind bars.


DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Shannon Matthews’s mother charged by police”

The most serious charge of perverting the course of justice carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, although 10 years is the largest sentence passed in the last 100 years.

100 years?

THE TIMES: “Mother of Shannon Matthews charged with neglect”

Ms Matthews was criticised yesterday by her sister, Julie Poskitt, for apparently not knowing how many children she had. “When Shannon first went missing, Karen told everyone that she had six children,” Mrs Poskitt said. “It took her days to remember she had seven. I remember screaming at the telly, because even though I’m not their mother, I knew she had seven.”

THE SUN: “Estate is like a nastier Beirut”

One resident on Moorside Road, where Karen Matthews lived, told how cops who raided his home uncovered a stash of adult porn.

He said: “There’s nowt wrong with that. We’ve all got porn. Tell me a man who hasn’t porn in his house.”

Shannon’s far better in care

Anila Baig, the Sun’s sometimes-woman –in-a-hajib, is looking at the matter:

Karen Matthews is a disgrace and an insult to mums everywhere after allegedly admitting she knew where Shannon was “from day one”.

There are claims of a twisted plan to have the nine-year-old “kidnapped” based on an episode of Channel 4 show Shameless.

Shameless? More like shameful, sick and disgusting, if true.

Such are the facts. How many children does Karen Matthews have, Anila? She has “seven children by five different men”.

DAILY MAIL: “Shameless Britain isn’t a comedy – it’s a tragedy”

Says Allison Pearson: “Dysfunctional families get along fine in the end and horribly deprived, bright little boys can grow up to be celebrated writers of award-winning dramas just like … well, Shameless’s creator Paul Abbott.

The show’s spirit is best summed up by anti-hero Frank Gallagher’s cheery chant: “Make Poverty History – Cheaper drugs now!” Hilarious. Unless, of course, you happen to be a real child living in that kind of couldn’t-care-less home. Anyone find the plight of Shannon Matthews funny? Thought not. Yet her family could come from Central Casting for Shameless Britain.

A TV show (a work of fiction) and the lives of Shannon Matthews and her family. Which one do you find laughable, if either?

As Mel Brookes said: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

We can laugh at it all, even Ms Pearson.

Shameless Britain is not a comedy. It’s a daily tragedy whose victims, like Shannon Matthews, are all too real.

Oh, please, Ms Pearson. Stop. Stop. You’re killing us…

THE GUARDIAN: “Shannon’s mother charged over abduction”

At a news conference at Dewsbury police station, Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Peter Mann said: “The CPS has continued to work with police in connection with this case since Shannon was found on Friday March 14. Shannon’s mother, Karen Matthews, was arrested on April 6 and has been interviewed by West Yorkshire police.

“Having carefully considered all of the evidence provided in the file by West Yorkshire police, we have decided that there is sufficient evidence and have authorised that Karen Matthews be charged with perverting the course of justice and child neglect.

Five members of the child’s family have been arrested in connection with her abduction, including 22-year-old stepfather Craig Meehan and Meehan’s uncle Michael Donovan.


THE INDEPENDENT: “Mother of Shannon Matthews charged with child’s neglect”

The latest development in the rapidly changing case came after it was reported that Mrs Matthews, 32, had allegedly confessed to knowing the whereabouts of the nine-year-old, and that a number of people claiming to be the girl’s relatives made direct approaches to Kate and Gerry McCann asking for money from the fund for their missing daughter Madeleine.

Mrs Matthews, who will appear at Dewsbury magistrates’ court this morning, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. She is the fourth family member to be arrested over Shannon’s disappearance after a school swimming trip on 19 February.

Four. Such are the facts.

Christina Patterson: Making the most of motherhood

If the allegations in this more-gripping-even-than-The Apprentice case are true, then Karen Matthews, like Frank Gallagher, is certainly resourceful. And while single women across the country – and the Atlantic – agonise over their inability to bag a man, Karen, it seems, has an embarrassment of riches. The younger man who kissed for the cameras. The older man, it’s alleged, in whose “divan drawer” poor Shannon was found. The four other fathers. And all without even a lick of lipstick!

Anyone laughing, Ms Pearson? Smiling..?

And if they’re true, she’s certainly a good actress. That crumpled, puffy face. Those tearful pleas for a safe return. That grateful clasping of friends’ and neighbours’ hands. Give the woman an Oscar – or, at least, a part in The Bill.

Karen Matthews walks into a police station – tell me if you’ve heard it before…

Posted: 9th, April 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (18) | TrackBack | Permalink