Saturday

Solicitor claims Madeleine McCann book 'will stand up in court'

By Chris Moss

A FORMER solicitor who has written a controversial new book about the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann claims "every sentence" would stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.

Tony Bennett (61), of Chippingfield, Old Harlow, has risked the wrath of Kate and Gerry McCann's lawyers after publishing What Really Happened To Madeleine McCann? in which he claims the little girl was not kidnapped.

In the 64-page book Mr Bennett questions the McCanns' version of events on the night their daughter was reported missing from the Port-uguese holiday apartment where the family were staying in May 2007.

The McCanns have already won huge libel payouts from Express Newspapers for publishing stories alleging the couple were responsible for their daughter's death.

But speaking to the Star, Mr Bennett appeared unconcerned about the possibility of expensive legal action.

"I've spent a long time researching this book," he said. "I've looked at all the evidence found by Portuguese police in great detail and I'm confident every sentence would stand up in court should it come to that."

The £3 paperback, which has been released as the McCanns prepare to launch a second high-profile Christmas appeal for help finding their daughter, has already been purchased by hundreds of people from Mr Bennett's website. He has also sent copies to the national press.

Mr Bennett is no stranger to controversy over the case. In November last year he attempted to prosecute the couple under the Children and Young Person's Act after claiming they were guilty of child neglect.

He also complained to the Office of Commu-nications after being subjected to a barrage of abuse from radio talk show host James Whale who called him "despicable and disgusting" for his attempts to bring a private prosecution against the McCanns.

A spokesman for the McCanns was unavailable for comment.

Source: Harlow Star