Madeleine McCann | Anorak - Part 38

Madeleine McCann Category

News digests and reviews of the missing child in the news. Madeleine McCann vanished on Thursday, 3 May 2007 from a rented holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Madeleine, on holiday with her twin siblings and parents Kate and Gerry McCann,became the biggest news story of the past decade. We’ve followed it closely ever since the story broke.

Madeleine McCann: Back To The Fore, Back To Portugal And Back To The Scene

mccanns3.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


After the generous donation to the McCanns’ fighting fund, the Star now keeps missing Madeleine in the public eye.


She’s back…


Express gets Madeleine back on front page. Well, it does have a libel bill to pay…

THE HERALD: “Plan to reconstruct Madeleine’s disappearance ‘upsets’ Kate McCann”

Kate McCann is “upset” at a decision by police to invite her and Gerry back to Portugal to take part in a reconstruction, a friend of the couple said yesterday.

Portuguese officers have invited the McCanns to participate in a reconstruction of the night Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year…

The friend added: “The family will consider it. If it’s felt there’s a chance of it helping to find Madeleine then, of course, they will do it. But given it is a year on, you have to wonder about the value of it.”

But everything must be done to find Madeleine. And what of the facts?

Kate, 40, a GP, has not returned to work and has remained at home in Rothley, Leicestershire, since her daughter disappeared. Gerry, 39, has returned to work as a heart surgeon.

Such are the facts. And the reconstruction?

Says Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman: “However, Kate and Gerry would very much welcome a Crimewatch-style reconstruction which is broadcast for millions of people to see and could generate important new leads and fresh information.”

THE TIMES: “New anguish for Gerry and Kate McCann over police tactic”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “It’s untrue to say that Kate and Gerry have been called back or summoned back.”

Robert Murat, the other official suspect in the case, will take part in the reconstruction if he is asked to.

THE INDEPENDENT: “Portuguese police want McCanns to return”

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Posted: 9th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (936)

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

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:

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

Shannon Matthews: The McCanns, A Shameless Scam And Paul Donovan

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


A scam? Who would have thought it?

The mum of Shannon Matthews has allegedy confessed that her daughter’s abduction was just a Shameless scam.

Sobbing Karen Matthews, 32, was arrested on suspicion of perverting justice after reportedly telling a woman detective she had known where Shannon was all along.

Shameless? Ashamed?

In an episode of the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless, screened just four weeks before Shannon vanished, family head Frank Gallagher’s teenage daughter Debbie staged the fake kidnap of her younger brother Liam in a bid to pocket a £500,000 ransom.

“Missing” Liam – played by Johnny Bennett, nine, – was hidden by Debbie (Rebecca Ryan, 16) at a pal’s home just down the road.

Missing children are a form of entertainment.


The mother of kidnap girl Shannon Matthews has allegedly told police: “I knew where she was, right from day one.”

And the McCanns..?

A spokesman for the McCanns confirmed they had received approaches from “people purporting to be members of Shannon’s family” for donations from the Find Madeleine Fund, but said it had been decided not to get involved.

But the McCanns did get involved.

Gerry and Kate were “deeply concerned” at the plight of Shannon’s family. Kate, 39, said: “My heart goes out to them. We always hoped and prayed that no other family would have to suffer like we have.”

And singer Leona Lewis seized the moment to make an appeal.

THE SUN: “’Family’ beg from McCanns”

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Posted: 8th, April 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (202)

Madeleine McCann: Tapas Nine, Tapas Seven, Three Arguidos And One Child

mccanns-kate-gerry.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


Madeleine McCann is returned to the Express’s front page for the first time in weeks – the first time since the paper and its siter title the Daily Star donated money to the McCanns’ fighting fund.

THE SUN: “Kate shrink facing quiz”

A top psychologist who has been treating Kate McCann is to face questioning by the Portuguese police.
Alex Pike flew to Portugal to help distraught Kate, 39, hours after daughter Maddie vanished last May and she is still his patient.

Kate and husband Gerry, 40, asked cops to interview Manchester-based Mr Pike to counteract officers’ belief she behaved “suspiciously” following the disappearance.

Can the word of a therapist clear Kate McCann?

THE TIMES: “Lawyer of the Week: Adam Tudor a partner at Carter-Ruck, represents the parents of Madeleine McCann”


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Posted: 8th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,498)

Madeleine McCann: Paulo Rebelo Arrives And McCanns To Brussels

mccann1.pngMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann police due to arrive in UK”

The Portuguese police are coming.

Portuguese police are due to arrive in Britain today to observe as the friends of Kate and Gerry McCann are interviewed about the night Madeleine went missing.

And Kate and Gerry McCann?

The McCanns will not be in Leicestershire for the duration of the visit by Mr Rebelo and his team. On Wednesday, they travel to Brussels to lobby MEPs for better co-ordination between European countries when a child goes missing.

They will return to Leicestershire on Thursday evening before the Portuguese officers fly home.

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Posted: 7th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (992)

Shannon Matthews: Karen Matthews ‘Arrested’, Michael Donovan’s Suicide And A Scam

karen-matthews.jpgSHANNON Watch: Anorak’s look at the case of Shannon Matthews in the media


Page 5: “There was blood everywhere.. his life was hanging by a thread”

Unconscious Mike Donovan, 39 – who also took a drugs overdose – was saved by quick- thinking prison officers who raced to give first aid as he lay in a pool of blood.

A jail source said grimly: “His life was hanging by a thread. There was blood everywhere. He would have died but for the prompt action of staff.

“It was a deadly serious suicide bid.”

KIDNAP QUIZ GRAN’S GRIN” – Alice Meehan is the “grinning mum” of Craig Meehan. The policeman behind her is also smiling. But he is not mentioned.

GIRL’S SNUB STUNS MUM” – Shannon would rather play with her kitten than go home. Karen Matthews is on “suicide watch”

Karen Matthews is in a secret location. Although, the police know where she is:

Shannon’s mum Karen is nicked” – Karen Matthews, 32, was being held on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

PA NEWS: A West Yorkshire Police spokesman says: “Police investigating the alleged abduction of a nine-year-old girl have arrested a 32-year-old woman in Dewsbury on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.”

DAILY MIRROR (front page): “SHANNON ACCUSED SLITS HIS WRISTS – Warders foil suicide bid”

Shannon Matthews’ accused kidnapper Michael Donovan has slit his wrists.
What of Shannon’s family?

Fishmonger Craig is accused of possessing 130 indecent images of children on his computer. His mother Alice Meehan and sister Amanda Hyett were both arrested and freed on bail in connection with Shannon’s kidnap.

Alice, 49, Donovan’s sister, was quizzed on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Amanda, 25, who lives next door to the house Craig shared with Shannon’s mum Karen was questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender. Karen, 32, is mother of six other children.



Michael Donovan:

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said it was a “serious case of self harm” and that the warders who found him had acted “with great professionalism”.

A jail source said: “His condition is being assessed by a psychiatrist who will try to determine how serious a bid it was to end his life.

“He has apparently tried to claim it was more of a ‘cry for help’. But he will now be viewed as a genuine suicide risk and watched extremely closely.”

And Shannon?

During a three-hour visit on Wednesday – only the second time Karen had seen Shannon since she was found – the mother-of-seven broke down and begged her daughter to come home.

Shannon is said to have replied: “No. I don’t want to come home. I want to go back to my kitten.”

Karen’s mother, June Matthews, who is planning to launch a custody bid for Shannon, said: “During the meeting both Karen and Shannon seemed quite happy but Karen broke down when it was time for Shannon to leave and begged her to come home.

“That must have been devastating for Karen. But it is good news that Shannon is so happy.”


THE man accused of snatching little Shannon Matthews was rushed to hospital yesterday after trying to kill himself in jail.

Not big Shannon, then?

Detectives are probing claims the youngster’s “abduction” was a family scam to rake in cash after they had seen public donations pour into a fund set up to help find missing Madeleine McCann.

A scam?

Posted: 7th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (112)

Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan, Vigilantes And Blaming New Labour

craigmeehan-court.jpgSHANNON Watch: Anorak’s look at the case of Shannon Matthews in the media


THE mum of Shannon Matthews ditched her lover yesterday as he appeared in court accused of possessing porn pictures of children as young as four. But she has now broken off her four-year relationship with the 22-year-old supermarket fishmonger, saying she “didn’t want to be part of his life”.

Karen acted after he appeared in court on 11 charges of possessing 130 indecent images of youngsters. Fourteen of the pictures were said to show adults having sex with children as young as 11. Others showed children aged just four performing sex acts.

Is Craig Meehan innocent?

Says one local: “He wouldn’t last a minute. People on this estate act first and ask questions later. He may be innocent, but these folk won’t wait for a judge and jury. They feel betrayed and are very angry.”

TIMES: “Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan remanded in custody”

The partner of Shannon Matthews’s mother was remanded in custody charged with possessing 140 pornographic images of children on two computers.

Or 130 images? Meehan is a “supermarket fishmonger”. Such are the facts.

THE SUN: “I want nothing to do with him”

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Posted: 4th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (79)

Madeleine McCann: The McCanns’ Return To Portugal, A Year Of Looking And Ben Affleck

madeleine-mccann.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN: “McCanns risk arrest over visit”

KATE and Gerry McCann may risk arrest by returning to Portugal for the one-year anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance.

The couple are prepared to take the chance in a last ditch attempt to revive interest in four-year-old Maddie, missing since May 3.

Any facts?

The doctors, both 39, left the Praia da Luz resort last September – 48 hours after being made official suspects over the mystery.

Gerry and Kate McCann are Doctors. Such are the facts.

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “They want to be there for the first anniversary. Going out there would send the strongest possible message that Madeleine could still be alive and the search for her should continue.”

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: “Turning the tabloids”

Ben Affleck is Gone Baby Gone:

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Posted: 4th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,577)

Stolen ID And Wrongly Branded A Paedophile

CAN there be much worse than being wrongly branded paedophile?

With ID fraud on the rise, the assumption is you’ll lose money which can be claimed back. But Simon Bunce lost his job, and his father cut off contact, when he was arrested after an ID fraudster used his credit card details on a child porn website.


Posted: 3rd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (4)

Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan And Paul Donovan News Round Up

craig-meehan.jpgSHANNON Watch: Anorak’s look at the case of Shannon Matthews in the media

ANKIT Saha: “From my humble legal viewpoint, I find it quite startling that the Police took the action they did against Meechan. Normally the authorities operate against the issue of child porn on the level of website owners and online distributors.”


THE stepfather of kidnapped schoolgirl Shannon Matthews was remanded in custody today after being charged with possessing child pornography.

Craig Meehan, 22, appeared at Dewsbury Magistrates Court this morning facing 11 charges of possessing 140 indecent images of children.

He will remain in police custody until April 11 when he will reappear at the court.

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Posted: 3rd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (65)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Sees His Daughter

murat2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine suspect Robert Murat back in Britain to see his five-year-old daughter”

It is understood Mr Murat had not seen five-year-old Sofia since being named an official suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann almost a year ago.

Hunting Madeleine McCann And Robert Murat

Two weeks ago he informed police he wanted to visit the UK and see Sofia – and was allowed to do so. The fact that Portuguese authorities did not stand in his way suggests there is no evidence against Mr Murat.

Was it ever suggested by police that there was evidence against the “creepy” “oddball”? The man whose “alibi was blown“. Or was it the tabloid press making the suggestions and the police taking note?

Says Mrs Murat: “All he wanted to do was help the McCanns.”

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat’s trial buy media

Posted: 3rd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,222)

Shannon Matthews: Stepdad Craig Meehan Arrested

shannon-matthews-new1.jpgSHANNON Watch: Anorak’s look at the case of Shannon Matthews in the media

YORKSHIRE EVENING POST: “Today’s development came on the day that Karen Matthews, 32, was due to have a second meeting with her daughter Shannon – who is still being looked after by a foster family.

“The YEP has been informed that Social Services bosses have spent the last few days arranging for the visit to take place – at an undisclosed location.

“However, that reunion has now been put on hold in light of the arrest of Karen’s partner. The YEP has also learned that detectives probing Shannon’s 24 day disappearance are still interviewing the youngster. They are anxious to establish exactly what happened to her during the time she was missing. However, detectives are able to interview her for only short periods at a time because of her tender age, and the delicate nature of the questioning.”

DAILY MAIL: “Police arrest Shannon Matthews’ stepfather on child porn charges”

Police investigating the disappearance of Shannon Matthews have arrested her stepfather Craig Meehan on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

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Posted: 2nd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (148)

Madeleine McCann: McCanns’ Police Files, Evidence And Organised Crime

maddy-pic.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SCOTSMAN: “McCanns set to see police ‘evidence’ against them”

Says the paper: “Madeleine McCann’s parents could see the Portuguese authorities’ case against them within a fortnight.”


Rogerio Alves said police files may be made public on 14 April, when the official secrecy period covering the investigation into the young girl’s disappearance is due to end. The Portuguese lawyer said this period could only be extended in major inquiries, such as those involving terrorism and organised crime.

But if Madeleine was taken by an organised group of human traffickers, as has been suggested many times, what is that if not organised crime? The “could” would becomes a “could not”.

THE TIMES: “McCanns may see file”

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Posted: 2nd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (960)

Madeleine McCann: The Sangria 7 And Introducing The McCanns’ Lawyers

mccann-reward.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

The Sangria 7. It’s the Tapas 9.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, who heads the British arm of the probe, is likely to lead the interviews. Police chief Paulo Rebelo, the man in charge of the investigation, is also likely to make the high-profile trip to Britain.

Detectives want to clear up any “inconsistencies” in the group’s stories about what happened the night Madeleine went missing.

Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell:

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Posted: 1st, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (877)

Madeleine McCann: Fiona MacKeown Compares And More Questions

madeleine_mccann5.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “The very sinister cover-up behind Scarlett’s murder in Goa”

The paper looks to Fiona MacKeown, mother to murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling.

“I have nine children which makes you strong and there has been a lot to do. When I have nothing to do but think – it’s very hard. She really fought for her life and I think about that all the time.”

How does she feel about all the criticism of her for leaving Scarlett?

“I’m not surprised, really. Look at what’s been said about Madeleine McCann’s mother, and she is the picture of elegance.”

Says Fiona Mackeown, the media’s Charlotte Rampling.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann police in last ditch visit”

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Posted: 31st, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (932)

Madeleine McCann: A Tapas Quiz, Doctors And McCanns

madeleine-mccann-dress.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


Big news for those who thought the cops’ specialist food knowledge was donuts and kebabs. Cops making a last-ditch bid to solve the Maddie McCann mystery will spend only THREE DAYS quizzing the Tapas Seven.

Not the Tapas Nine. Not the Sangria Seven.

The detectives are particularly keen to see Dr David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner Dr Russell O’Brien. Doctors Gerry and Kate, both 39, are not expected to face more questioning.

Doctors. Such are the facts.

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Posted: 30th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (572)

Madeleine McCann: 100 More Questions, McCanns And Shannon

mccanns_11.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


The same 100 questions Portuguese police compiled last November, or new ones?

Kate and Gerry McCann’s holiday friends will be quizzed again to check alleged discrepancies in their stories. The Tapas Seven, who had dinner with the McCanns on the night their daughter Madeleine, four, vanished, will have more than 100 questions put to them by Portuguese police.

Tapas Seven. Tapas Nine. What will the tabloids settle on?

The Mirror quotes a source who tells a source, Portuguese paper 24 Horas: “We are at a crucial phase. There are clear contradictions in the statements that the McCanns and their friends gave. Many things have to be clarified. The need to question Madeleine’s parents again will be determined by the results of the interrogations of their holiday friends.”

In which instance the Tapas Nine will be questioned.

SPENBOROUGH GUARDIAN: “The Shannon Matthews documentary was about more than a missing girl”

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Posted: 29th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (783)

Madeleine McCann: Heather Mills, Bad Jokes And A Lynch Mob

mccann-picture.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SCOTSMAN: “Child molester escapes mob”

A convicted child molester, Santiago del Valle Garcia, arrested in connection with the violent death of a five-year-old Spanish girl, narrowly escaped a mob who tried to grab him from a police van.

The man has yet to be charged with kidnapping and killing Mari Luz Cortes.

The girl disappeared less than two hours’ drive from where Madeleine McCann vanished in May 2007.

Is a two hour drive so very near? It takes around one and a half hours to drive from London to Birmingham, or across London.

CBS NEWS: “Loathing Heather Mills – Why Britain Hates The Former Mrs. McCartney”

You either love her or you hate her but the chances are that if you are British and you have ever heard her or seen her – you probably hate her. Heather Mills – the ex-Mrs Paul McCartney – is our latest willing export across the Atlantic. We loathe her – I mean really, really loathe her.

Well, most of us admire Lady Heather, but as for love, that would be stretching things. Can we settle on lusting after her? But what has this do with a missing child?

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Posted: 28th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (815)

Madeleine McCann: Mari Luz Cortes, Santiago del Valle Garcia And Clarence Mitchell Says

mari-cortes-mccann-poster.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN: “Quiz killer paedo over our Maddie”

Santiago del Valle Garcia has been arrested by Spanish police over the death of Mari Luz Cortes – “Maddy 2“. He has neither been tried nor convicted of murder. Although the Sun is certain.

Says the Sun: “Both girls were pictured on posters put up by four-year-old Maddie’s parents because the cases were so chillingly similar.”

A spokesman for the couple, “who are both doctors aged 39” – such are the facts – says: “Given the similarity in their ages it is important police make absolutely sure there’s no connection.”

But what of the similarity between the cases?

“Sources said the pervert, who has convictions for child abuse, confessed he dumped Mari Luz’s body in panic after she fell to her death down stairs.”

DAILY MIRROR: “McCanns want Spanish paedophile quizzed on missing Madeleine”

Says Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns: “We hope the Portuguese police will be liaising with the Spanish police to establish this man’s movements around the time Madeleine disappeared.

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Posted: 27th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (816)

Madeleine McCann: Selling Books, Keeping Your Child Safe And Michael Donovan

children-in-danger.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “Wearing kid gloves – In this age of multiple dangers, how do parents strike a balance between wrapping children in swaddling clothes and giving them leeway? Aine Nugent reads a new guidebook on the subject”

Clinical psychologist Paul Gilligan has penned Keeping Your Child Safe, a book that will spread anxiety and must be read ANYONE who genuinely cares about their kids. If you don’t read it, then you only have yourself to blame should something dreadful befall your children.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as nine-year-old Shannon Matthews was found safe and well. It is every parent’s worst nightmare that their child should go missing — a tragic reality that the families of Madeleine McCann and Amy Fitzpatrick are still going through.

Keeping our children safe is the first priority of parents, and the modern world has more dangers in it than it did when we were children — perhaps because we’re more aware of them. Because of developments in technology, communication has never been easier — and never more fraught with danger.

Read on if you dare…

Keeping Your Child Safe looks at the ways in which children can be put in danger, unwittingly, unintentionally, but detrimentally.

Madeleine McCann: Spreading the fear

Shannon Matthews: Michael Donovan, 39, will appear before Dewsbury magistrates court in West Yorkshire. He was arrested on March 14 after police raided a house and found the missing 11-year-old.

Posted: 26th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (514)

Madeleine McCann: On Lawyers, Media And Local Newspapers

madeleine-graffiti.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

LIVERPOOL DAILY POST: “Local experts forecast liklihood [sic] of Madleine McCanns’ damages case”

DEFAMATION specialists in the region have commented on the outcome of a case brought by the parents of Madeleine McCann which resulted in four national newspapers issuing front-page apologies for their coverage of the toddler’s disappearance.

Liverpool has taken the McCanns to its big heart. Not for nothing is Liverpool the European city of Culture. Kate McCann was born in Liverpool and her mother Susan Healy lives in the area.

The local Liverpool paper has invited a panel of local lawyers to share their thoughts with locals about the local story of a young girl from Leicestershire who went missing in Portugal.

We are no longer watching the parents in the media. We are watching the media in the media. Anorak is watching the media watching the media. Thank you for watching.

THE GUARDIAN: “This reckless reporting cannot continue”

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Posted: 25th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (470)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat’s Relief

murat1.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR: “Murat: It’s big relief”

Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat, 34, last night spoke of his joy that he looks likely to be officially cleared in days.

After having his computers returned, he said at his Praia da Luz home last night: “I’m so relieved.”

No mention of the Mirror’s super sleuth Lori Campbell who fingered “weird” Murat.

DAILY MAIL: “Murat could soon be cleared as Madeleine suspect after police return his possessions”

Even his computer – with the Sun’s “kid porn”.

His lawyer Francisco Pagarete said: “The police received an order from the public prosecutor to give everything back to Robert. All his items have been returned. We believe it is another step towards his clearance as a suspect. It’s a good sign.
“But we will have to wait and see. There is nothing official saying his status as an arguido is being revoked.”

Even if yesterday the Sunday People had “CLEARED” him.

No word from the The Mail’s Neil Sears, who told us: “There was something more to the friendly expat who called himself ‘Rob’ than met the eye.” Murat made Sears “feel slightly uncomfortable”.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Robert Murat close to being cleared over Madeleine McCann disappearance”

Robert Murat has moved a step closer to being cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance after police returned possessions seized from him 10 months ago.

Says hi mother, Jenny Murat, 74: “Every single item that the police took has been returned to us. Of course we hope it means Robert’s arguido status will be lifted shortly. But we’ve had no official confirmation that that is the case and we’re not getting too excited.”

Madeleine McCann: Speculation and survival

Posted: 24th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (978)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat ‘Cleared’, Maddy’s Bedroom And ‘No Case’ Against McCanns

murat-innocent-1.pngMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


Portuguese cops hand back Murat’s seized computers Arguido status set to be dropped Family demands apology for ‘unfair’ smears against dad

Robert Murat is no longer a suspect. Robert Murat is longer a suspect?

Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat was last night sensationally CLEARED of snatching the four-year-old. The ex-pat Brit has suffered ten months of torment after being named an arguido by Portuguese police.

Robert Murat is no longer a suspect. The Sunday People has the facts.

Only: “Last night relatives called on investigators to formally lift his arguido status.”

Robert Murat is still a suspect. Read all about it.

Murat’s ex-wife Dawn says: “There are a lot of weird people out there and if something happens to one innocent child they think ‘An eye for an eye’. They want to hurt another innocent child – my daughter. I’m constantly on the lookout for anything suspicious or anyone paying her attention.”

It’s “every parent’s worst nightmare”, says she. It’s not at all pleasant. But scream “paedo” and this is how people who care deeply for children react.

Dawn told how the “worst moment” came when a newspaper compared him to Soham murderer Ian Huntley. School caretaker Huntley, 33, openly joined the hunt for missing ten-year-olds Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in 2002.

EXPRESS: “Kidnapping has weird echoes of Soham case – MADDY SUSPECT BEHAVED JUST LIKE HUNTLEY.”

BBC: Says Robert Murat:

“It is a very positive sign, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. Why would they return something if it was in the middle of being investigated in any way, shape or form? We are very happy to have the computers back, and I hope I will have my arguido status dropped very shortly.”

SUNDAY EXPRESS: “Kate and Gerry MCann Sorry”

Another day, and another front-page apology. How many times can the Express say sorry to the McCanns? And does saying sorry lead to an increase in sales?


What a day it is for The Sunday People: Murat no longer a suspect; case against McCann dropped. The People scoops the rest.

The Tapas Seven face fresh questioning next month as cops launch a last ditch attempt to solve the Madeleine McCann mystery.

No longer the newspapers’ “Tapas Nine”.

Portuguese detectives will fly to Britain on April 7 after winning permission from public prosecutors to quiz the seven pals who were at a tapas bar with Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry when the four-year-old disappeared.

But what of the headline that police have “no case”?

A source revealed: “Police had prepared various questions they wanted to ask Kate and Gerry. “But the prosecutors felt it was a waste of time because the McCanns would refuse to answer the questions – a right that Portuguese law grants official suspects.”

And the exclusive about the headline about there being “no case”?

Kate and Gerry, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, deny involvement in the disappearance and believe the new move will show they have no case to answer.

Such are the facts. No speculation in the Sunday People. No room for a libel payout.

Comfort of the room that’s frozen in time

Madeleine McCann’s parents have kept their daughter’s bedroom exactly as it was before she disappeared…Kate still sits quietly there every night and prays. And they have vowed never to move from the house in Rothley, Leics, until they know what happened to Maddie.

And we’re back to being voyeurs, peeking inside the room of a missing child. Voyeurs.

Her bed sheets and patterned duvet remaining unchanged and her clothes are still hanging in the wardrobe and neatly folded in a chest of drawers. Kate has refused to hand down the clothes to Maddie’s three-year-old sister Amelie who bears a striking resemblance to her.

But this is not speculation. This is fact.

Gerry’s mum Eileen McCann said: “At one time the door to Madeleine’s room remained closed. But now the twins go in and play. Kate and Gerry don’t want to shut them out. The whole family feels closer to Madeleine by being in her bedroom.”

As do tabloid readers.

DAILY MIRROR: “Maddie cops fly to Britain”

By Lori Campbell – the hack who fingered Murat as creepy and then told everyone about her scoop.

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Posted: 23rd, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (276)

Madeleine McCann: Porn, Liverpool For McCanns And Libel

madeleine-liverpool.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE INDEPENDENT: “Saga of the McCanns is not yet over”

Says Richard Ingrams:

No one can feel too sorry at the thought of Express owner Richmond Desmond, who has made a huge fortune out of pornography, having to shell out a fraction of his profits to the needy McCanns.

No, not climate porn, the Independent’s apocalyptic visions of climate change, but real flesh and hair porn – the porn that has given Richard Demsond “huge profits”; which must mean many not only enjoy porn and are happy to pay for it. Would “no one” feel sorry for Mr Desmond if his fine curtailed his porn output?

The Story of the McCanns and Express Newspaper was broken by Anorak 

All the same, the story is puzzling. The Express was undoubtedly guilty of libel. But the suggestion that the McCanns might have been in one way or another responsible for their daughter’s death did not originate with the newspaper. It was the Portuguese police who long ago branded the McCanns as suspects. And officially they remain so. It has never been explained why they were so convinced of the McCanns’ guilt when all the facts seem to point the other way.

Facts? There is only one fact: Madeleine McCann is missing.

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Posted: 22nd, March 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (453)

Madeleine McCann: The Anniversary, Malinka’s Car And Unsavoury E-Mails

rothley-mccann.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR: “KATE TOLD TO FORGET PORTUGAL – She’ll miss Maddy anniversary”

A year of Madeleine McCann stories.

Lawyers have told the couple that to return on May 3 may be risky in view of the fact they are still official suspects over the missing four-year-old. There are fears it might provoke demands for them to be quizzed by police again.

“May”. “Fears”. It’s News of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in a nutchell.

A “friend” says: “The lawyers are just being ultra-cautious. But there remains a possibility they may suddenly be called in. The anniversary would then become a circus which is the last thing they want. It is sad because Portugal is where Kate feels closest to Madeleine.”

So says a friend of the McCanns in the national press.

The six-month anniversary was marked by a flurry of speculation, yellow ribbons and a book.

THE SUN: “Murat pal’s car is torched”

A close pal of Maddie suspect Robert Murat has been targeted by an arsonist — apparently attempting to make him reveal details of the case.

Apparently. Or not.

There was a similar arson incident last year when Malinka’s van was blown up at night.

This is Sergey Malinka. Back in May 2007, the Sun heard Portuguese TV report that Malinka has convictions for “sex crimes.” Does he have any criminal convictions? “Not as far as I know,” said Moscow-born Malinka. Did the Sun bother to investigate further? Is Portuguese TV a reputable source of fact?

What says Malinka of his car: “It was a nice car, but at least I wasn’t inside it. I’m angry and I want to find out who it was.”

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Posted: 21st, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (982)