Anorak News | Shannon Matthews: Half Truths, Family Fun And Fairy Tales

Shannon Matthews: Half Truths, Family Fun And Fairy Tales

by | 17th, June 2010

SHANNON Matthews: Social workers could not have foreseen the abduction of Shannon Matthews by her mother, a serious case review has concluded says the Guardian today.

That was the serious case review by the head of the service which (in the opinion of several other social work team leaders) may very well eventually be found to have failed Shannon…the Kirklees Council’s own social work review team.

The report team’s head Alison O’Sullivan, chair of the board and director for children and young people at Kirklees Council, yesterday said:

“The trigger for the review was, to quote directly, an ‘unusual, unexpected and challenging event.’”

O’Sullivan refused to answer questions on the reasons the family was not on any “at risk” alert despite police insistence that it was necessary.

The police view seemed to have been ignored in the current salient headline points of Kirklees’ version of events.

Shannon’s ( now 11-years-old) claimed disappearance in February 2008 led to a £3m police operation and a nationwide search that ended when the nine-year-old was found hidden in the base of a divan bed in a flat about a mile from her home in Dewsbury.

Her mother, Karen Matthews, above, was jailed for eight years for her part in what a judge described as a “truly despicable” plot with Michael Donovan, (a member of Matthew’s extra-ordinarily complex extended ‘family’ and partner relationships).

The child was found not by sleuthing and good crime detection by senior CID police officers, but the diligence and quiet observation of a local beat bobby. It was almost a totally accidental incident when she was heard while hiding with Donovan in the base a divan bed in his flat.

(Michael Donovan…his own two daughters were in care after he made them watch him having sex with a prostitute.)

The Kirklees safeguarding children board review ruled there was “little leeway” for social services and other agencies to intervene before Shannon was abducted in February 2008.

The overview panel concluded that the third-born child’s abduction could not have been foreseen by professionals involved in this case on the basis of their historical and current knowledge about the family,” the report says.

Kirklees council announced a serious case review after Matthews and Donovan were convicted in December 2008.

Other reports, independent of Kirklees’ local authority viewpoint, are on the way.

I doubt they will be as flattering as the one trumpeted yesterday and in the short-term Kirklees will have to release the full-report and not the sanitised headline briefing of yesterday.

West Yorkshire Police (which has full report copies) is known not to be in the sweetest of moods…all is not harmony and light between the local authority and the Woodentops…and you can expect very rapid information leaks down Dewsbury way.



Picture 1 of 36

File photo dated 3/3/2008 of Karen Matthews, the mother of missing schoolgirl Shannon Matthews, making an emotional appeal for her safe return. Shannon was "drugged to subdue her" as part of a "dishonest and wicked plan" to kidnap her by her mother and the man in whose flat she was found, Michael Donovan, a jury heard today. See PA story COURTS Shannon.

Posted: 17th, June 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink