Anorak News | Shannon Matthews: Karen Matthews And Craig Meehan To Breed

Shannon Matthews: Karen Matthews And Craig Meehan To Breed

by | 25th, January 2009
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KAREN Matthews, mother to Shannon Matthews has been sent down for eight years for her role in the kidnap of her own daughter.

Karen Matthews was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty last month of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

Michael Donovan was convicted of the same offences, was also given an eight-year sentence.

Says judge, Mr Justice McCombe:

“The offences that you committed were truly despicable.”

She showed no interest or consideration for her daughter, who she’d previously referred to as her ‘beautiful princess’.

SKY: “Matthews was sitting slumped back, with her arms folded nonchalantly, seemingly uninterested. At one point she even looked at her watch.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: But Leeds Crown Court heard that both were of low intellect and may not have been capable of carrying out their crimes without assistance from others.

Mr Justice McCombe told Matthews and Donovan: “The offences you committed were truly despicable. It is impossible to conceive how you could have put this young girl through the ordeal that you inflicted upon her.”

He said neither defendant seemed to have the cognitive ability to devise and orchestrated such an elaborate plan with any degree of likelihood of success.

“Having regard to their low intellect, it must be doubtful whether they could have conceived or continued these offences without the assistance or connivance of others,” the judge added.

THE HERALD: David Cameron used the Karen Matthews case to “demonise” people on benefits, a Cabinet minister claimed today.

In an online article published hours after Matthews was jailed for eight years for her role in staging the kidnap of her own daughter Shannon, Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell accused the Conservatives of trying to stigmatise the unemployed by suggesting that any of them might do the same.


Matthews and Donovan were given concurrent six- and three-year terms for kidnap and false imprisonment, and two further years to run consecutively for perverting the course of justice. They will spend just over three years in jail, with half their sentences to be served on release under licence. Their terms include the eight and 10 months that they have respectively served on remand in custody. Neither is expected to appeal.


Now 33, she was born and brought up in Dewsbury – one of Gordon and June Matthews’ seven children. Her sister, Julie Poskitt, said the two girls had a tough upbringing in the working-class West Yorkshire town along with their five brothers.

But, according to Mrs Poskitt, although the children got on well as youngsters, Matthews’ life started to go astray when she became a teenager.

Matthews herself described how her relationship with her mother broke down when she was 14.

“I ended up in a children’s home because I couldn’t cope with all the stress and lies and stuff,” she told a TV documentary.

“After I got over that they took me out of the children’s home, I stayed with them for a bit and then I went to live with my boyfriend’s mum. I was about 17 or 18.” Matthews had her first child aged 20.

She had another six children in the decade which followed as she moved from relationship to relationship.

Asked in court why she had left so many relationships she said it was always the men leaving her.


Frances Oldham QC, for Matthews, said her client had committed “serious offences” but she criticised the media “hysteria” that followed her conviction.

Making reference to a comment by Det Supt Andy Brennan, who condemned Matthews as “pure evil”, Ms Oldham said: “[This] is the one thing she is not.”

The barrister said Matthews had been isolated in prison because of how she had been portrayed and had received no visitors except for her lawyers.

Ms Oldham said: “She is not Myra Hindley, she is not Rose West.”


During the joint trial Matthews pointed the finger at her “violent” ex-lover Craig Meehan, and his sister Amanda Hyett.

But yesterday mum-of-two Amanda, who had been arrested and released without charge, told the Daily Mirror: “I’m totally innocent and have nothing to hide. Having the finger pointed at you and your kids bullied. It’s made me ill.”

Her mum, Alice Meehan, also quizzed by police and released without charge, told how her weight has plunged to just five stone with the stress: “I hate them both for what they have done to us. She blamed me but I had nothing to do with it. Karen is not human. I just want her to start telling the truth but I don’t think she ever will.”

Speaking outside court, Julie Bushby, 38, who chairs the residents’ association on the Dewsbury Moor estate where Matthews lived, said: “I feel sorry for Karen, I really do, because I think she is carrying the can for others. She’s not got the intelligence to have done this alone.”

More to follow…

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Posted: 25th, January 2009 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (9) | TrackBack | Permalink