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NEWS / SHOWBIZ

MADDY'S PARENTS TO FACE INQUIRY

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PARENTS: Gerry and Kate with a poster of their missing daughter

Sunday July 22,2007

By Matt Drake in Praia da Luz

THE parents of Madeleine McCann face an inquiry over the way they left their three children alone in a holiday apartment on the night she vanished.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers are having “informal discussions” to see whether any offence was committed.
And in Portugal a campaign has begun in an attempt to see the couple jailed for neglect.

Gerry and Kate McCann have said they checked on the children regularly while with friends in a nearby tapas bar.
The development comes as Portuguese police prepare to question prime suspect Robert Murat for a third time.

They will quiz him this week over reports of messages discovered on his home computer discussing a mobile phone
picture of a “small British girl”.

The Sunday Express has learnt that ­sinister rumours on the internet and malicious allegations in the Portu­guese press about the McCanns’ private life have provoked complaints to British police deman­d­­ing that the couple be arrested.

Senior detectives in Portugal have been accused of leaking details about the investigation to the local media in an attempt to blacken the McCanns’ name.

Despite the country’s strict prejudice law, forbidding police to talk to the public, vital details in the inquiry have found there way on to internet chat rooms.

Yesterday Mr McCann said he and his wife were outraged by the cruel slurs which have forced him to take legal advice in case the CPS decides to prosecute.

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An article last week in Portugal’s Sol magazine accused the McCanns and the other families in their holiday group of hiding behind a “pact of silence”. It said the McCanns’ friends had constantly altered their version of events and that they were a “very strange group that never stayed with their children”.

The accusations have triggered “high-level informal talks” among CPS lawyers about the conduct of Madeleine’s parents, who are both well-respected doctors.

Senior lawyers are considering whether an offence was committed under the 1933 Young Persons Act, which deals with ill-treatment, cruelty, neglect and abandonment of children under 16.

If charges were brought and the McCanns found guilty, they could face up to two years in jail.

The family’s spokes­woman, Just­ine McGuinness, said: “If they could turn back time there are things that they might have done differently, with the benefit of hindsight. But it is impossible to say whether, had there been an adult in the apartment at the time of the abduction, it would have stopped a predator.

“There are, sadly, several cases of children being taken by an adult with criminal intention while they have been very close by their parents.”

Despite overwhelming support for the couple since four-year-old Madeleine vanished 80 days ago, the CPS has received complaints from members of the public blaming the toddler’s parents for “abandoning” her when they went out for a meal with friends in the evening.

Lawyers are also keen to establish why the McCanns did not leave anyone to babysit Madeleine and two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie despite the resort offering a free childminding service.

A CPS source said: “There are a number of aspects that need to be considered.”

Last night Mr McCann, who today arrives in America to discuss child protection issues with  US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, said: “Kate and I find this type of criticism deeply hurtful and unhelpful. As each hour passes our pain and anguish increases.

“Anyone who knows us knows we love our children. We have always taken our responsibilities as parents with the utmost seriousness. The authorities have assured us they regard the criticisms as without foundation."


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WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT HARSHER PUNISHMENTS FOR CHILD KIDNAPPERS NOT CRUCIFY THE PARENTS!

25.07.07, 3:01pm

Bijemi.
I also remember the good old days, It might surprise you to learn that I am a similar age to you although slightly older. I was born in Liverpool too! so there you go!
My main point is people like you, are being harshly critical of Maddy's parents at a very traumatic time. Did you know that Maddy's mum originated from Liverpool?
You refer to the old community spirit, we had Lot's of it in Liverpool, but if everyone thinks like you, then there is no community compassion and care for others, left, wheres it gone? Why have we as a society become so critical and without feeling for others? Explain why we have to crucify the parents in this instant, due to some terrible luck, and the fact that we now live in a very violent, debauched World, not help by the politically correct morons and government policy on protecting the human rights of wrong doers!
We should be concentrating and debating on harsher penalties for these evil people who carry out these dreadful acts, especially when it involves children, instead of talking about punishing the parents who in their own dreadful way, besides Maddy, are terrible victims in this whole affair.

• Posted by: stevegReport Comment

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STEVEG

25.07.07, 12:55pm

Forty years ago, when I was a little girl, people left their front doors open. In the summer, windows were left open at night because it was safe to do so. People used to go into their neighbours houses for a cup of tea and a natter whilst their children were sleeping because it was assumed it was safe. The reason being that child abduction was extremely rare and although paedophilia was around then it was not as well known now, or as common as it seems to be. Burglary too was very rare as people felt that no matter how poor, you didn’t steal off your own. None of the people who left their children then would dream of leaving now because we all know that the world is no longer a safe place, and we have to protect ourselves and our families. We lock our windows to protect ourselves from harm. We watch crossing the road as there is so much traffic. We teach our children road safety and stranger danger in order for them to protect themselves. It would be a wonderful world indeed if no one had to watch our for themselves or their children, but sadly, it is far from it. Oh, to leave your child in a car, unlocked while you pay for your petrol, is negligence, in my opinion. Am not sure how the law stands on it, but you have asked what I think. You admitted that it only takes a second for a child to be taken. Why then are you defending people who left their children in danger for upto an hour? Just because we feel that we should be able to leave our children and no one touch them, does not mean that we can. Supposing Maddie had not been taken. What if the twins had woken up and cried for their mummy and daddy, and Maddie took it upon herself to go and find them and got into trouble, what then? If one of the children had vomited and choked. What then? Would you just say it was one of those things?

You say that it was just 40yds from the apartment to the Tapas bar. Have you seen how you have to get to the Tapas bar? It’s not just a straight walk. Take a look at these pictures: http://gazetadigital.blogspot.com/ Your point about it being a respected family resort does not wash either. They had a babysitting service and that was family friendly. Just because it says family friendly does not mean that there are no dangers when you are negligent.

I don’t profess to have any talents and again, that was an immature thing to say. It is just common sense that you do not leave your children like that.

Reading this back it seems a little over the place butI hope I have covered all that you asked. If not point out what you feel is lacking and will get back to this a little later.

• Posted by: BijemiReport Comment

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IS CONDEMNATION OF MADDY'S PARENTS THE ANSWER?

24.07.07, 4:57pm

DoodleBugStudio.
I agree with your assessment of the Portuguese situation and attitude about this case.
I would just like to ask people like Bijemi about her condemnation of the McCanns. I will start by saying that in all honesty, I as a parent and I suspect many others, have probably been guilty of neglect if her interpretations are correct. How many times have you stopped in a road at a corner shop and left your child strapped in the child seat in the back. How many people fill up at a garage forecourt then leave their child sitting in the car whilst they go into the garage shop to pay? it only takes a second for a child to be taken. Bijemi, if your 'Perfect World Utopia' rules were to apply, we would all be negligent. Are you now some sort of expert social family psychiatrist, amongst your other assumed (by yourself) talents?
The facts are, the McCanns where in a respected family resort sitting 50 yards from their children, who where asleep in a locked room. They took turns to return and check the children every 30 Mins. The kidnapper absconded with Maddy, by entry through a window, if it was locked or ajar is irrelevant, this was a planned determined assault.
I feel the attitude of some British people in condemning the parents, and the CPS, reportedly, inquiring about the possibilities of charges being brought against the parents, is all to do with the society we have now become.
I hate to mention politics here, but our government with their constant new laws, rules, fines, and punishment ideologies, driven by political correct doctrines, are to blame for the harsh attitude of some people now.
Referring to what I said earlier, Jesus said; "let those without sin cast the first stone"
As a parent, think something similar applies here when you consider criticising Maddy's parents.

• Posted by: stevegReport Comment

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IS CONDEMNATION OF MADDY'S PARENTS THE ANSWER?

24.07.07, 4:56pm

DoodleBugStudio.
I agree with your assessment of the Portuguese situation and attitude about this case.
I would just like to ask people like Bijemi about her condemnation of the McCanns. I will start by saying that in all honesty, I as a parent and I suspect many others, have probably been guilty of neglect if her interpretations are correct. How many times have you stopped in a road at a corner shop and left your child strapped in the child seat in the back. How many people fill up at a garage forecourt then leave their child sitting in the car whilst they go into the garage shop to pay? it only takes a second for a child to be taken. Bijemi, if your 'Perfect World Utopia' rules were to apply, we would all be negligent. Are you now some sort of expert social family psychiatrist, amongst your other assumed (by yourself) talents?
The facts are, the McCanns where in a respected family resort sitting 50 yards from their children, who where asleep in a locked room. They took turns to return and check the children every 30 Mins. The kidnapper absconded with Maddy, by entry through a window, if it was locked or ajar is irrelevant, this was a planned determined assault.
I feel the attitude of some British people in condemning the parents, and the CPS, reportedly, inquiring about the possibilities of charges being brought against the parents, is all to do with the society we have now become.
I hate to mention politics here, but our government with their constant new laws, rules, fines, and punishment ideologies, driven by political correct doctrines, are to blame for the harsh attitude of some people now.
Referring to what I said earlier, Jesus said; "let those without sin cast the first stone"
As a parent, think something similar applies here when you consider criticising Maddy's parents.

• Posted by: stevegReport Comment

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PORTUGUESE AND CPS ARE NOT MOUNTING AN INQUIRY

24.07.07, 3:18pm

Diario de Noticias: Portuguese Newspaper

Specialists don’t believe in the parents’ condemnation

At a time when the english press echoes the possibility of the Public Ministery of that country accusing the parents of Madeleine McCann of a crime of negligence, risking imprisonment up to two years, for leaving the child asleep with her twin siblings in an apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, from where she was kidnapped on May 3, a jurist and a clinical psychologist contacted by DN exclude the scenario of any type of crime.

“No judge in England or in Portugal would have the courgae to condemn the parents of the missing child. Even if the process reaches the courtrooms, it would not be difficult for any lawyer to find arguments that clear the couple of a crime of negligence”, the jurist stated under anonimity. “And I don’t see the Public Ministery, in England, placing responsibility on the parents at a time when the Policia Judiciaria has an ongoing investigation. Unless the goal is to pressure the couple so they, in return, place more pressure on the PJ”, he added.

If the british Public Ministery decides to prosecute the McCanns, this process will have to transit, afterwards, to portuguese justice, who will have to place an accusation if that is the case, given the fact that Maddie disappeared in Portugal. According to that lawyer, a process of this nature would have to be analysed by a superior court.

Clinical psychologist Luis Villas-Boas, the director of a foster home in Faro, is surprised by the turmoil that is going on in british justice and press, even classifying the situation as “paradoxal and ridiculous”. This is said taking into account the case of a 3-month old baby (meanwhile adopted by a portuguese family), that was abandoned close to Faro airport in 2001, by her parents, english citizens that flew to London at that time. “That was clearly a case of abandonment with exposure, which classifies as a crime that follows directly after homicide, in the Penal Code. And yet, as far as we know, that couple was neither condemned, nor arrested. I’m perplexed by the fact that the british are now worried about finding an accusation for the parents of the kidnapped child, when they were not worried about arresting a criminal couple a few years ago”, he said.

According to that specialist, the McCann couple didn’t reveal “intention or deceit” in the case of Madeleine’s disappearance, who at the time was a week away from becoming 4 years old. “There was no crime of negligence, which is punished when someone is abused. Abandonment is a definitive disconnection, which implies intention or deceit, and Madeleine’s parents did not intend to abandon their children. They just manifested an excess of confidence, having comitted a mistake they now are confronted with in emotional terms, for the rest of their lives, if the child is not found. They are fighting to search for their daughter and they are suffering a lasting feeling of guilt. They don’t need the courts for that”, Villas-Boas reinforced.

• Posted by: DoodleBugStudioReport Comment

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APOLOGIES TO GAIL

24.07.07, 12:15pm

Gail, in my comment I called you Claire. I did try and change it before it was submitted but it was too late. Please accept my apologies.

• Posted by: BijemiReport Comment

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