This newspaper's website was bombarded by ill-intentioned people who seemed to take pleasure in seeking to do down the efforts of Kate and Gerry McCann to find their daughter and to question their motives. (Nooooo. Really?)
The release of detailed accounts of the fund for the financial year ending last March 31 should give these malicious detractors pause for thought. (Erm, no it doesn't. It reinforces thoughts, actually, that they are thieving, lying bastards)
The fund was launched a fortnight after the little girl, then aged three, vanished from Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, on May 3, 2007. Readers of this newspaper were very quick to rally round in response to our armbands appeal – and the significant amount raised in that way is acknowledged in the accounts. But the most important details are those covering how much was spent and how the money was used. (You mean, like mortgage payments and £37k spent on a website?)
As we would expect, search fees, detectives' bills, legal costs and the actual running of the high-profile campaign make up the bulk of the £815,000 spent on trying to trace Madeleine. (And still no sign of Maddie, although Eddie and Keela have a good idea what happened to her.)
The McCanns always said that how the money was used would be made public for all to see and they have been true to their word.
Every penny has been properly accounted for and the fund has been independently audited. We hope this disclosure reassure any doubters – and help to encourage people to continue their support for this missing Leicestershire child. (Yeah, right)
Source: Leicester Mercury
Discussion at the 3 arguidos:
LEICESTER MERCURY:PROOF OF THEIR DETERMINATION
'This is Leicestershire'
KATE 31/1 THREE HOURS A DAY MAKING SURE SHE'S NOT CAUGHT OUT
SHORT LIST OF PEOPLE WHO COULD HAVE DIED IN 5A
January 29, 2009 8:11 AM
The Find Madeleine Fund accounts have just been published on the internet and make intriguing reading.
They reveal income up to March last year of £1,846,178 and, after deductions of spending, a surplus of £1,052,027.
The details show the fund spent £81,904 on "awareness."
And £26,113 on "media monitoring"...a tiny sum, I suppose, because such scrutiny led to libel payouts of £925,000 to Kate and Gerry McCann and their Tapas 7 friends.
All of that will appear in the next set of accounts.
I wonder if they will show any donation from Robert Murat who collected more than £600,000 himself from the High Court?
Source: Sky News (this is where the original blog post was, but it's now been deleted)
Martin Brunt's blog: Life of Crime
Discussion at the 3 arguidos: Brunt's blog on the fund accounts
THE REAL FUND FIGURES!!!
How come they have never been 'Grassed Up"
Clarence Mitchell.......The doctor
Guardian 30/1 It's time to change our libel laws
Britain'slibel laws are stifling free speech, says UN
The official fund set up to help find Madeleine McCann now stands at £600,000 after an initial surge of donations dried up.
Nearly £2 million was raised in the first 10 months after the little girl went missing in May 2007, according to accounts filed to Companies House.
Over this period more than £815,000 from the fund was spent on efforts to trace Madeleine, who was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve region of Portugal while her parents dined with friends nearby.
The expenditure included £250,000 for search fees, including the bill for Spanish private detectives Metodo 3, £111,522 for legal costs and £123,573 for campaign management. There was also £37,071 for the McCanns' official website, £81,904 for adverts and a total of £141,747 for administrative expenses.
Madeleine's Fund was launched a fortnight after the child vanished from Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, on May 3 2007.
Donations flooded in from supporters around the world who wanted to do something to help her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, who are now both 40.
The fund's income in the period to March 31 last year totalled £1,846,178, including bank interest of £33,424 and £64,078 from sales of T-shirts and wristbands, the accounts showed.
This total includes a £550,000 libel award from Express Newspapers made in March last year, but not several later sums in damages paid to the McCanns and their friends by media groups.
Mr McCann's brother John, who is one of the fund's directors, said contributions had dropped off. He wrote in a foreword to the accounts, dated November 12 last year: "As expected, the level of donations has fallen over time, although we have a number of loyal donors continuing their support.
"Income in the new financial year is currently significantly lower than at the same time last year. However, our expenses are ongoing and likely to increase."
You might want to sell your bloody houses then John, instead of expecting other people to pay your mortgages and fund your luxury hotel bills.
Source: The Guardian
Esther McVey: "The McCanns never asked for one penny" (except for at least £4,000 for mortgage payments)
*Esther McVey is a long-time friend of Kate McCann and was spokesperson for Madeleine's Fund from its launch in May 2007.
Esther and Kate first met in 1986, when they were both 18, at the North East Technical College in West Derby, where they were studying A-levels together.
She joined the board of Madeleine's Fund on 20 June 2007 and continued her role as spokesperson for the Fund until her resignation, announced in January 2008.
Ms McVey has remained-tight lipped as to the reason, or reasons, behind her resignation - a rather ironic position, considering her desire to become a Member of Parliament and given her former and current roles in the media/PR.
Her own website, on which she once displayed an online petition in support of the McCanns, now contains no mention of Madeleine McCann at all.
The 3 Arguidos: Esther McVey, WHY DID YOU JUMP SHIP?
Clarence Mitchell: "Every penny has been spent in the hunt" (except for the mortgage payments of course)
By VERONICA LORRAINE
WELL-wishers donated almost £2million to the fund to find Madeleine McCann in the ten months after she vanished, it has emerged.
They gave almost £260-an-hour after Madeleine went missing aged three in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3 2007, accounts lodged with Companies House show.
The figures, published for the first time, show parents Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, spent £761,668 on the search in those ten months.
Of that, £26,000 bought merchandise, £250,000 went on private detectives and £123,573 paid for campaign management. Legal fees cost £111,522 and £81,904 paid for posters and newspaper and TV ads.
A further £7,363 was spent on hotels, travel and subsistence, including their trips to Morocco and the US.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Every penny has been spent in the hunt.”
Source: The Sun
The real cost of the search, however, was footed by the Portuguese
How the Daily Mail justifies the McCanns's extravagent, fraudulent fund which produced NO results - other than to reduce their mortgage
Where the £2m you gave to find Madeleine McCann has gone
The fund set up to help find Madeleine McCann raised almost £2million in the first ten months after she vanished, it was revealed yesterday.
The wave of shock and public sympathy that swept Britain after her suspected abduction led supporters to donate money at a rate of almost £260 an hour.
Accounts lodged with Companies House show the fund received £1.4million in bank donations, another £391,000 over the internet and £64,000 from the sale of T-shirts and wristbands.
In total, it received £1.85million in its first ten months and earned £33,424 in interest. It spent £815,113 on the search for Madeleine in that time.
This included £26,000 to fund the purchase of merchandise and £250,000 on the fees for private investigators.
But the accounts – which have been made public for the first time – have been published with a warning that donations had gone on to fall dramatically and were now ‘significantly lower’ than in the immediate aftermath of the three-yearold’s disappearance in Portugal in 2007.
Support for her parents – Kate and Gerry – was rocked when Portuguese police named them as suspects, and when it emerged they had used public donations to pay two £2,000 instalments on their mortgage.
Madeleine vanished from a holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents ate dinner at a nearby restaurant with friends.
The accounts provide a fascinating insight into the surge of support the family received, but also the costs of their worldwide campaign to find their child.
The fund’s biggest expense in the first ten months was £250,000 spent on private investigators hired to try to find her, including the Spanish agency Metodo 3.
Agency boss Francisco Marco boasted he would find Madeleine within three months, but his ‘leads’ seemingly came to nothing and the firm is no longer involved with the hunt.
The fund spent £123,573 on campaign management, which is believed to include the salary of the McCanns’ temporary spokesman Justine McGuinness and the fees of a PR agency.
A later spokesman, former BBC journalist Clarence Mitchell, had his salary paid by one of the couple’s wealthy benefactors.
The fund spent £111,522 on legal fees and expenses and £81,904 on posters and television and newspaper adverts appealing for information about Madeleine. Mr and Mrs McCann, both 40, set up the fund in May 2007.
Legal restrictions meant it could not be set up as a charity, so it is run as a not-for-profit company by a board made up of McCann friends, colleagues and relatives.
Mr McCann’s brother John is its chairman and wrote a foreword to the accounts. He said: ‘As expected, the level of donations has fallen over time, although we have a number of loyal donors continuing their support.’
He went on: ‘However our expenses are ongoing and likely to increase . . . The release of the police investigation files has enabled our investigative team to access a wealth of new information to be followed up, resulting in increased search and investigation activity.
'We will continue to ensure that Madeleine is not forgotten and will leave no stone unturned in our continued search for her.’
The accounts cover the months from May 2007 to March 2008, when the fund had £1.05million remaining in its coffers.
It has since been boosted by several libel payouts to the McCanns and their friends, the so-called Tapas Seven, which they donated to the fund.
The McCanns were cleared as suspects last August.
Their spokesman Mr Mitchell said: ‘People will be able to see that every penny of the money they so generously donated has been spent properly in the hunt to find Madeleine.’
Source: Daily Mail
Discussion at the 3 arguidos here
And why hasn't the Fraudulent Fund found Maddie?
"If the McCanns admit that their daughter is dead, they can no longer collect money from the Maddie fund, and that's a lot of money, over one million pounds. That's why they say that the girl was abducted." Gonçalo Amaral
Leicestershire Constabulary links to McCanns' fraudulent fund
University Hospitals Leicester links to McCanns' fraudulent fund
McCann Fund: Motivation for a terrible crime
Russell James O’Brien was questioned on the 8th of April from 9.55 a.m. until 8.18 p.m., divided into 5 distinct time periods (9.55 – 11.30 a.m., 12.01 – 12.50 a.m., 2.06 – 3.55 p.m., 5.15 – 6.56 p.m., and 7.37 – 8.18 p.m.). Officially, all the video images of this day were rendered useless because the video camera didn’t work… which means that Enderby police wants us to believe that, even during pauses, they never verified if the interrogation was being recorded correctly. This was the official version, the one that was offered to the Portuguese authorities. Nevertheless, the truth of facts is different, and Russell O’Brien was questioned again on the 10th of April; this time the camera worked.
To read the statement in full go to: Duarte Levy
Discussion at The 3 Arguidos: "Russell James O’Brien & The lost DVD" by Levy
Leicester police allowed Russell O'Brien to read his wifes statement before questioning
Russell O'Brien's statement - 04/05/07
Russell O'Brien's hearing 11/05/2007
Russell O'Brien's Rogatory interview
Jane Tanner - Rogatory Interview (UPDATED)
By: Steve Hatherley
If you are invited to a murder mystery party you have the chance to act out the role of your favourite detective - whether it's Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Morse.
While many murder mystery parties have a role specifically for the detective, everyone can join in the hunt for the murderer. Sometimes the games are written so that even the murderer doesn't know that they have committed the crime - so they can join in the fun as well.
So while these tips are particularly useful for anyone taking on the role of the detective, they will also help anyone else trying to solve the murder. (They may also help the murderer cover their trail...)
The secret to solving murder mysteries is in determining three things, the 'Holy Trinity' of detection: Means, motive and opportunity.
'Means' is probably the easiest of the three to determine. By 'means', I mean how the murder was carried out and usually an examination of the body will tell you this. Typical examples include stabbing, shooting, poisoning, drowning and so on. In the case of something like poison, you might need to find out how it was administered. Was it something the victim ate or drank?
Was the poison injected?
Sometimes it's not always easy to work out how the victim died - particularly if there are other wounds or marks. Also, the murder might be disguised as an accident.
Once you have determined the means, you should have more avenues of investigation. For example, if the victim was shot, who has access to a gun? This line of questioning brings us to the next in the Holy Trinity: opportunity.
'Opportunity' refers to the timing and planning of the murder, rather than the actual method of killing. In the case of a poisoning, for example, it means having the appropriate access to deliver the poison - such as in a bedtime drink, a favourite chocolate or whatever.
Opportunity also means being in the right place and time to commit the murder. Once you know where and when the dirty deed was committed, you can eliminate from your questioning anyone with a concrete alibi.
Which brings us to motive.
'Motive' answers the 'why' question. Why was the victim killed?
Motive can be both the easiest and hardest of the Holy Trinity to solve. Sometimes there are lots of people with a good motive to kill, and sometimes it can be hard to find anyone with any kind of motive at all.
So, the first thing you should ask is 'Who benefits?' Who has the most to gain from the victim's death? And if it's not immediately obvious, then you are going to have to talk to everyone.
(And even if it is immediately obvious, you may still have to talk to everyone as the murderer isn't always the person with the most obvious motive. Things are rarely as straight-forward as that!)
If nothing else, whenever you talk to one of the other guests at a murder mystery party, you should ask them who they think killed the victim. Someone will have a clue as to the identity of the murderer, but without asking absolutely everyone, you might never find them.
You need to watch for the various tricks and twists that can confuse things further. These can include the misdirected murder (where the victim wasn't the intended victim at all but just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) and murder-by-proxy (where the murderer isn't the one with most to gain, but is a misguided friend or servant).
Here, then, are my tips on solving a murder mystery:
Find a piece of paper and write down three headings: Motive, Means and Opportunity. As the party progresses and you learn more about the murder, write down what you learn on the paper under the appropriate heading.
Keep a checklist of everyone present and work through them, one by one. Most murder mystery parties have a list of characters who are present, so you can use that to make sure that you don't miss anyone.
HIGH-TECH number plate recognition systems have been installed in a holiday village near Warminster to help improve security in the wake of the Madeleine McCann abduction case.
Management and security personnel at Center Parcs, in Longleat Forest, said the £40,000 system, put in place on Friday, will offer more protection to its guests and help police to solve crimes.
Andy De’Ath, general manager of the 400-acre holiday park, said: “We sat round a table a long, long time ago when it happened (the Madeline McCann case) and thought out what measures we can put in place for our guests to minimise the chance of that ever happening here.”
Madeline was three-years-old when she was taken from her holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal, in May 2007.
The Vehicle Number Plate Recognition system uses an infrared camera to capture every car going in and out of the complex. It can also be used to help the police with their inquiries.
With nearly 1,500 people working at the resort, Center Parcs is one of the largest employers in the area.
The holiday village has a 23-strong team of security personnel patrolling the resort, three security managers and 24-hour CCTV surveillance, working to create a safe haven without intruding on holidaymakers.
Source: Wiltshire Times
Kate McCann: ‘If I weighed another two stone, had a bigger bosom and looked more maternal, people would be more sympathetic’
In an EXCLUSIVE interview, the grandparents of Madeleine McCann tell Paddy Shennan of the terrible toll on their family as their daughter remains a suspect in the toddler’s disappearance
KATE McCann’s parents hit out at the “scurrilous rubbish” being printed about their daughter – and said she feels she is being persecuted because of her appearance.
“She said last night ‘If I weighed another two stone, had a bigger bosom and looked more maternal, people would be more sympathetic’,” Madeleine’s grandmother, Susan Healy, told the ECHO today.
Arguido status lifted but still they don't talk unless it's to ask for money
“I think it’s terrible that she’s having to think like that.
“She does feel persecuted, not by the general public who have been extremely supportive, but by some sections of the media, and I just feel it’s important I let people know she is not this person who is in control all the time.
“Kate is a very sensitive, caring person and one of the most maternal people I know – she puts me to shame. Her life revolves around her children but now she’s got to the point where she feels she is being persecuted, in her mind, if her twins, Sean and Amelie, cry in public – it’s absolutely crazy.”
She adds: “All this stuff is going on inside my poor daughter who’s not done anything wrong. She and Gerry went to a restaurant which was just metres away from their apartment and part of the holiday complex – it was a terrible mistake but they did it (every day) out of naivety.”
Although Susan and Brian Healy still cling to the hope that their four-year-old granddaughter will be found alive, they dread their worst nightmares coming true amid reports that police in Portugal are trawling a reservoir.
In a wide-ranging, often emotional and tear-filled interview, the couple, who live in Allerton, also reveal that a meeting of family and friends is taking place in Formby today to discuss the next stage of the campaign to keep the search for Madeleine in the public eye.
It’s now 166 days since Madeleine was last seen alive and Susan and Brian admit that the enormous strain is telling on all the family.
Kate’s health and well-being has given particular cause for concern, and her mum reveals: “She and Gerry do have counselling – Kate saw a counsellor at the end of last week. It’s the same person they saw in Portugal and I know it does help them.
“But I think they continually go back to the feeling that they can’t afford to go to pieces because they have to keep trying to get their daughter back – that overrides everything else they are feeling.”
Susan cannot say how, or if, any of the family will cope if there remains no news – or the worst possible news arrives. But she stresses: “Anyone would crack eventually. It’s like having a perfect family and seeing it torn to shreds.”
There have been concerns about Kate’s appearance and apparent weight loss, and her mum says: “She’s always had that kind of build and has never carried any weight. But she does look very traumatised. It must be unbearable for her to think about the possibility of never seeing Madeleine again, or that it’s going to be another six months before she sees her again.”
Regarding reports that police are focusing on a reservoir around 15 miles from Praia da Luz, Susan says: “It is scary and if it really is going on, I’ll be holding my breath.”
But the couple are hoping that the appointment of Paulo Rebelo, Portugal’s second most senior police officer, to lead the investigation in place of the much-criticised Goncalo Amaral, will give fresh impetus to the hunt.
And Susan says: “We’ve no idea when Kate and Gerry may have their suspect status lifted, but we hope it will be soon. Until it is, they are not allowed to defend themselves in public – and that is dreadful.
Other Madeleine McCann-related domain names bought:
Discussion at the 3 arguidos here:
The tireless child safety crusader is to be made Britain’s first Victims Commissioner.
Sara, 39, is expected to have her own desk at Jack Straw’s Ministry of Justice after beating several top-notch candidates to the role.
Last night a senior Downing Street source told us: “Sara is one of the most impressive advocates for crime victims in the country. She will be a massive asset for the government.”
Sara has spent almost nine years campaigning since the abduction and murder of her eight-year-old daughter Sarah by paedophile Roy Whiting.
She will take up the job after being recruited by Justice Secretary Mr Straw and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Sara, awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List, will work three days a week and be paid as a consultant.
She will be able to directly lobby Cabinet Ministers for action to help those whose lives are destroyed by crime.
She will also advise the government on drawing up policies to help crime victims and will help recommend which support schemes across the country are given government cash. And Sara, who has four children, will be able to ensure vital local charities helping victims are not starved of funding.
The post of Victims Commissioner was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his speech at the Labour Party Conference in September. After that, Sara was approached and invited to apply for the role.
Since then she has been interviewed by Ms Smith, Mr Straw and the Attorney General, Baroness Amos.
Last week the Prime Minister, who campaigned for Sara’s MBE, finally signed off her appointment.
The Downing Street source added: “We expect Sara will be constantly challenging the government and taking up cudgels on behalf of those whose lives have been ruined by criminals of all sorts.
“This is a key role. Not only will Sara be helping to determine government policy, she will also be exposing the failures in the system right across the board.
“There are enough campaigners for criminals. It’s about time victims had their own ambassador.”
Sara was the driving force behind the News of the World’s For Sarah campaign to give parents and carers the right to know if predatory child sex offenders lived locally.
Initially, she faced massive opposition from child care agencies and some police forces.
But she impressed former PM Tony Blair, his successor Mr Brown and a succession of Home Secretaries by her tough and knowledgeable stance.
Her campaigning has so far led to the introduction of 14 pieces of legislation tightening the laws on child sex offenders. Her crusade reached its peak last year with the launch of pilot schemes in Hampshire, Cleveland, Warwickshire and Cambridgeshire.
Parents and carers there are told of a sex offender’s history if a child could be at risk and can check on neighbours and relatives with unsupervised access to kids.
Sara played a vital behind- the-scenes role on the panel responsible for setting up the pilot schemes.
She said of the schemes: “They are proving a success and I’m confident they will be rolled out nationwide and soon become part of everyday life. A child was saved the very first week the scheme was launched. That was an amazing feeling.”
Tony Blair first floated the idea of a proper representative for crime victims in a speech in 2005, but the government quietly forgot about it.
It was not until last September, when Gordon Brown was writing his keynote conference speech, that the idea was resurrected.
In his conference speech, Mr Brown said: “Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw are introducing a landmark reform in our justice system, to put victims first.
“We will create an independent commissioner who will stand up for victims, witnesses and families.“
The government has been under pressure to improve the rights of crime victims since the 7/7 London bombings three years ago.
Then, the News of the World revealed victims of the atrocities were being forced to wait for compensation and treated like second-class citizens.
The House Of Commons Order Paper reveals Mr Straw will make a statement about the appointment tomorrow.
BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Profile, Sarah Payne
Charles Sandbach is a passionate and committed writer. A full member of - ‘The Chartered Institute of Journalists’ he holds the coveted - National Press Card.
With his strong beliefs for social justice, Charles endeavours to uphold high ethical standards yet he isn’t afraid of confronting the truth. Film investigative journalism will play a major part in the development of our organisation this year.
Source: Inspired Productions
Karen Matthews, 33, stood impassively in the dock as sentence was passed, with her accomplice, Shannon's stepuncle Michael Donovan. He was also sent to prison for eight years.
But Mr Justice McCombe signalled that the long and hugely publicised saga of Shannon's 24-day kidnap last year might not yet be over. He told Leeds crown court: "It must be doubtful whether Matthews and Donovan could have conceived or continued these offences without the assistance or connivance of others."
Matthews' long-standing friend Julie Bushby, chair of the tenants and residents' association on Moorside estate, Dewsbury, where the family lived, left the court saying: "There's no doubt about that in neighbours' minds. Other people were involved."
Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan, of West Yorkshire police, who headed the £3.2m inquiry which involved the questioning of most of Matthews' large extended family, said the case was closed. "We concluded there was not sufficient evidence to charge anybody else. But if new evidence comes to light, it will of course be investigated."
During mitigation pleas, Frances Oldham QC criticised Brennan's description of her client, Matthews, after her conviction last month as "pure evil". Oldham said it was part of a "demonisation" process which risked bracketing a stupid and inadequate mother with the likes of child murderers Myra Hindley and Rose West. Agreeing that jail for up to eight years would be appropriate, she suggested that the kidnap had been a ploy to help Matthews leave her abusive partner, Craig Meehan, that had spiralled out of control.
The judge agreed that the "evil" tag "was not a helpful comment" and criticised "hyperbole about this case in some quarters" but did not mince his own words when Matthews and Donovan stood to be sentenced.
As both stood as expressionless as they had during their five weeks in the dock before Christmas, he told them: "The offences you committed were truly despicable. It is impossible to conceive how you put this young girl through the ordeal that you inflicted on her.
"It is incomprehensible that you could have permitted your friends and neighbours and, in your case Matthews, even your children, to sacrifice time and energy in extensive searches for the supposedly missing child.
"It is also incomprehensible that you could stand by and watch enormous police resources being wasted. The cost to the public was £3.2m, and many well-intentioned people also provided free help and facilities."
The judge singled out for condemnation the dosing of nine-year-old Shannon with the adult sedative temazepam, not only during the kidnap but for up to two years previously at her home.
Saying the drugging was done "on a regular basis and as a matter of routine", he revealed that the schoolgirl continued to suffer from nightmares about being tied up, following her imprisonment in Donovan's flat, where a looped teather was found knotted to a beam.
"It was installed to allow her access to the lavatory but not to the doors or windows," he said. "Notwithstanding the absence of scientific evidence linking it to her, or either defendant, it is an unavoidable inference that it was used or intended to be used to restrain her."
He allowed publication of an extract from a local social worker's report that Shannon was "disturbed, traumatised and frightened" when taken into care after her release. The report continued: "She appeared to relive her experiences and often complains of having nightmares where she is tied up."
The judge told the court he found Matthews and Donovan equally culpable for the kidnap, which started on 19 February when Shannon was enticed into Donovan's car on her way home from a school swimming trip. It ended on 14 March when police called to interview Donovan as they worked through a long list of relatives. When he failed to answer, officers broke down the door and found him and a terrified Shannon hidden in a drawer beneath a bed.
Matthews was arrested three weeks later and subsequently gave five different stories to police, initially blaming Donovan and then other members of her family. She has seven children by four partners, and both she and Donovan come from large families, so the early stage of the police inquiry involved trying to untangle a complex web of relationships.
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.
The judge included the Sun newspaper among the pair's victims as the plot developed into an attempt to defraud the paper of its £50,000 reward for information. He told the court: "I am sure the newspaper understands when I say that it was not so high on the list, but it was a victim of a planned fraud nonetheless."
An independent serious case review into previous social service dealings with Matthews and her family is due to report to Kirklees council, probably early this summer. On her arrest, Matthews cried out that she would "lose her babies" and all four children who were living with her and Meehan are now in care.
Meehan, a 25-year-old former supermarket fishmonger whose sister lived next door to the family, was convicted in September of downloading pornographic images of children. He was rehoused at an unidentified address for his own protection, because he had already served more than his 20-week sentence on remand.
Source: The Guardian
Shannon Matthews kidnap inspired by McCanns scheme
Other Karen Matthews articles
Here's a shocking observation from a member of The 3 Arguidos. Rachael Oldfield was quite happy to leave her baby, Grace, unattended in a dark hotel room but didn't like to go and check on her because it was...erm, you know, er... dark.
Section of interview at Leicestershire Major Crime Unit:
DC 1578 Andrew GIERC “In through the front door”?
Reply “Mmm yeah, I mean the patio doors were locked, erm yeah I didn’t really like going up there by myself, it was, like going through that car park was quite dark and there was never anyone around, it was a bit, you know made me feel a bit uneasy”.
Rachael Oldfield Rogatory Interview - Unsourced
Discussion at the 3 arguidos: What a perverted, hypocritical form of motherly love!
Is Doctor Gerry McCann fit to continue working as a doctor?
But let's not forget how negligence is rewarded to NHS doctors in this country.
Metodo 3, the Catalan agency which worked for the McCanns during the months following Madeleine's disappearance, is now seeking to restore its image, tarnished by the lack of results in that case, but also by the recent allusions made by the couple's spokesperson.
Francisco Marco, director of Metodo 3 has convinced the Spanish daily, El Mundo, that its detectives helped the Spanish police to arrest members of an image-exchange paedophile network on the internet, information denied by a source from the National Police.
"The operation did not originate with that agency. The network in question was already under surveillance by our services for some time, but we were waiting for the right time to catch the most individuals and thus to bring an end to their activities," states a spokesperson for the National Spanish Police, contacted by SMM, stresing that "the intervention of that agency only precipitated matters. It was a risk to wait knowing that private detectives and particularly those ones, had information and were risking putting our investigators work in jeopardy."
According to the daily newspaper, known for its relations with the Barcelona agency, information gathered by the Metodo 3 detectives in the course of their investigation into Maddie's disappearance, allegedly helped the Barcelona Computer Crimes Squad to catch up to 23 internet users, 13 of whom were arrested in the course of the operation "Lolita P-mix" launched by the Spanish authorities.
Francisco Marco explained to the daily that the agency had created a call centre for world-wide exposure of Madeleine McCann's disappearance and that it was following an email received, saying that the little British girl figured in a paedophile video, that they happened to locate a series of images exchanged on the networks "Peer 2 Peer", "Gnuteklla" and "Donkey 2000". Maddie did not figure on any photo or video but Metodo 3 was obliged to pass on the information to the Computer Crimes Squad in Barcelona, a legal obligation that not even the detectives can escape.
Since the creation of the Computer Crimes Squad in 1995, many thousands of people have been arrested in Spain, or abroad, for crimes linked to paedophilia, in particular the exchange of photos or videos on the internet. The Squad now maintain excellent collaboration with other foreign police forces, which has allowed them to contribute directly to the dismantling of many large networks.
18 January 2009
Kate McCann is preparing to make an emotional trip to Portugal in a new effort to find her missing daughter Madeleine.
She has not been there since September 2007, four months after Madeleine vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz.
Kate, husband Gerry and their twins, Sean and Amelie, flew home to Leicestershire after being made arguidos by the Portuguese police.
That status was lifted in July last year as detectives in Portugal effectively shelved the investigation. However, a team of former top British police officers, financed by a family friend, is now investigating the case.
Last week Gerry flew to Portugal to meet the family’s lawyer and to get an update on the work being carried out by the British team. He is said to have found the trip very useful.
Madeleine vanished nine days short of her fourth birthday.
Sunday Express (paper edition)
By TOM WORDEN
19th January 2009
A child pornography network operating in Spain has been exposed by detectives searching for Madeleine McCann
Detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann have exposed a child pornography network operating in Spain, it was revealed today.
Thirteen people have been arrested in a police operation sparked by the search for the missing youngster.
Barcelona-based private detectives Metodo 3 were hired by Gerry and Kate McCann to help find Madeleine six months after she vanished.
Three months into their investigation they received an anonymous email saying the toddler appeared in a child porn video being distributed on the Internet.
The team, lead by agency director Francisco Marco, tracked down the images but discovered Madeleine did not appear among them.
They reported their finding´s to Spain´s National Police who launched an operation to hunt down the paedophiles distributing the videos.
Armed police launched a series of raids across Spain last month and arrested 13 people. Ten more are being formally investigated by a judge at a Barcelona court, who is overseeing the police operation.
Father-of-two Marco, 36, said videos were 'the worst images I have seen in my life.'
He added: 'In the video all the victims are under ten years old. I am satisfied to have taken out of circulation more than 20 paedophiles, and those who will be arrested in the future.'
The detective said his team has found similar images in the hunt for Madeleine which will lead to further arrests.
El Mundo newspaper said the videos were being distributed by the network p2p and the file sharing programmes Gnuteklla and eDonkey2000.
Police sources said the video showed dozens of young children, mostly girls, being sexually abused.
The Spanish paedophiles were allowing other Internet users around the globe access to the videos.
Police seized five home computers, three laptops, 47 hard drives, 133 DVDs and CDs, a digital camera, two video cameras and a photo album showing hundreds of child porn pictures.
Madeleine was days short of her fourth birthday when she went missing on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
Madeleine (pictured with her brother and sister) has been missing since May 2007
Parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors from Rothley, Leics, hired Metodo 3 in August at a reported cost of £50,000 a month financed by their multi-millionaire backer Brian Kennedy.
Mr Marco was criticised after making a string of boasts about his team´s ability to find Madeleine.
In November 2007 he promised he would locate the missing youngster before the firm´s six month contract expired.
And the following month he sensationally claimed he knew who kidnapped Madeleine - and hoped to reunite her with her parents for Christmas.
Metodo 3´s six month contract ran out in January 2008 but they have continued to work on the Madeleine investigation along with fresh teams hired by the McCanns.
They have investigated possible sightings of Madeleine as far afield as Chile, Morocco and Bosnia.
Source: Daily Mail online (Apparently old regurgitated news for some reason)
Related links: Joana Morais: McCanns and Metodo 3: The Spanish Connection?
Metodo 3 seeks to restore its image after Madeleine McCann - translated by AnnaEsse from article on Duarte Levy's blog: http://sosmaddie.dhblogs.be/
Discussion at the 3 arguidos here
The father of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, speaking in Lisbon, has expressed his intention of cooperating with the Portuguese authorities in the search for his daughter who went missing in the Algarve in May 2007, believing there are still leads which could be followed up.
“We think there is a very good chance that Madeleine could still be found alive and in good health and so we want the search to continue. We wish to stress our willingness to work closely with the authorities whenever this is possible,” said Gerry McCann who arrived Tuesday on a two-day flying visit.
In an exclusive Lusa News Agency interview Madeleine’s father said he had returned to Portugal for the first time since September 2007 to discuss with his lawyer Rogério Alves the best way of collaborating with the Portuguese authorities to “explore steps that still haven’t been taken and which could have made a difference.”
Gerry McCann is also reported to have had discussions with the British Ambassador in Lisbon in the company of his lawyer on Wednesday evening.
He added that is was important to study the case and the investigative process carried out so far “to avoid duplicating steps already taken,” and also “to not waste resources.”
“It’s the first trip to Portugal and I hope it will be the first of many during the coming months … The aim is to see what can still be done in the search for Madeleine.”
Gerry McCann added that he may return here in February.
He says the British police and their colleagues in various other countries continue to receive “information from different sources” about what may have happened to Madeleine as well as reports of “possible sightings”.
“Like all parents of missing children we want any leads to be investigated,” stressed Madeleine’s father.
Gerry McCann told the Lusa News Agency that he has no present intention of progressing with any legal case against the Portuguese state or any other body, particularly the media, underlining that he wanted to “go forwards and not backwards”.
“I want to make it completely clear that the past is in the past and we very much want to focus on what still can be done to continue the search. This is our priority and always was. Therefore these issues (possible cases) are just not relevant at this moment.”
Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing on May 3, 2007 from the bedroom where she was sleeping with her two younger twin brotherand sister in a tourist complex in Praia de Luz, Lagos, while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.
On September 7 of the same year the child’s mother Kate and her father were declared persons of interest to the investigation (arguidos) in the case, but on July 21, 2008 the attorney general’s office announced the closing of the case and the shelving of the process. The couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted.
The PJ Police originally suggested they were dealing with a possible abduction, but later admitted the child could have died, although the authorities never managed to establish what happened to Madeleine McCann.
Source: Portugal News
Maddie hunt trip gives Gerry hope - The Sun 15/01/09
Madeleine expert joins Uist search - Scotsman Jan 15
PICTURE: Madeleine Foundation supporter Grenville Green, from Nottingham, taking news of the booklet: 'What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann?' to residents and shopkeepers in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
After reading the booklet over the Christmas holidays, and being convinced that Madeleine McCann was not abducted as the McCanns have claimed, Grenville bought 100 booklets from the Madeleine Foundation. He has been touring Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire on his Triumph Bonneville America bike to promote the booklet. Amongst the places he has visted have been Leicestershire Police Headquarters and the McCanns' home village of Rothley.
Grenville said: "My wife and I have had a very good response wherever we've been. Most people appear to doubt the McCanns' version of events and have eagerly snapped up the booklet. I am amazed at the amount of govenrment help that this couple has had, given that the Portuguese police had good grounds for making them suspects in the disappearance of their own daughter".
Biography: Grenville Green (59) was widowed and brought up three boys, including his Downs Syndrome son Stephen, on his own. He remarried in May last year and currently campaigns for carers' rights. In particular he is asking that the Carers' Allowance, paid by the government to full-time carers, should be increased to the same level as the national minimum wage.
RELEASED BY THE MADELEINE FOUNDATION, 16 January 2009, 11.00am
CONTACTS: Madeleine Foundation 01279 635789
Grenville Green: 0115 875 0940
The Madeleine Foundation
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