There were many difficult decisions to be made that compounded our pain and worry. Any action we chose to take had to be looked at from every angle. Would people understand why we were doing it and support it, or would it be presented negatively in the media and bring us even more detractors?Was that really the most pressing matter?
They had returned to the UK minus their daughter and named as official 'persons of interest' in her disappearance. They professed to be innocent and to believe their daughter was still alive. I'm not sure that I would give a flying one about the media or any detractors.
The issues we needed to deal with most urgently were protecting our children and ensuring the safety of our family, preparing our defence with our lawyers and trying to stop lies being published in the press.The fact that they were ''preparing their defence'' suggests that they had every expectation of being charged by the Portuguese. I find this rather at odds with their assertion that the police ''had nothing''
One of the first things we did was to ring our GP. We wanted to make contact with the social services to pre-empt any interest they might be obliged to take in us.I find this rather interesting.
They would both know that Social Services would indeed be obliged to take an interest in them. Regardless of their part in Madeleine's disappearance, by their own admission they had been in the habit of leaving three infants unattended for prolonged periods, a practice which they maintained even after being made aware that their actions were causing distress to the children. Their attempts to pre-empt this suggest that they intended to get in first.
In the light of the headlines and our arguido status, we realized there would be pressure on the authorities to assess the welfare of the twins. It all seemed so crazy and unfair, but we had to confront it head on. Our doctor came round that Monday morning and we talked things through with him.This is extremely disingenuous.
Even if the McCanns had never been made arguidos, Social Services should have arranged to see them as soon as they returned to the UK, to discuss the safeguarding issues that were raised by them repeatedly leaving the twins and Madeleine alone. No-one would need to apply pressure to the authorities for this to happen
Wild stories were appearing in the papers about my ‘fragile’ mental state, my ‘inability to cope’ with my ‘hyperactive’ children, eating disorders and sedatives. All complete bullshit, yet not once had our GP been contacted for any information about us.Well, we know that isn't true
The police had not sought access to our medical notes and nobody had ever asked him if we were well and healthy, what kind of people we were, whether he’d ever had any concerns about us or our parenting skills or if we were on any medication.The McCanns seem to think that prior to making them arguidos the PJ should have sought numerous character witness statements. This is absolute cobblers. A character witness statement does not trump actual evidence; they had sufficient evidence to bring them in for questioning and to declare them suspects, which is the important thing.
Three days later we had a meeting with a social services manager and a local child-protection officer. They went through various formalities with us and, while they took care to keep everything on a totally professional footing, I could tell they felt uncomfortable about having to subject us to this sort of scrutiny.Could you really? I doubt that very much. It would have been extremely negligent of the authorities not to have interviewed you about the welfare of the twins. We have no idea what was said, or what actions were taken, and nor should we,
But we’d resigned ourselves to it. We’d expected it, accepted it and we had nothing to hide.Hmmmm.
The local police also visited us within the first twenty-four hours, primarily to advise us on security. Our home was fitted with sensor alarms. If anyone broke in, these would alert the police station, rather than go off in the house, enabling officers to be at our door within minutes. We were also given personal alarms to carry with us at all times. My dad and a friend secured another two feet of trellis to the fence surrounding our garden, providing a twelvefoot barrier against potential intruders, including the photographers who were already snooping at the back. Blinds were quickly put up at all of our windows for a modicum of privacy. A week or so later, Control Risks sent a technical expert to check our phone lines and rooms for any bugging devices. If we had wondered back in May whether we’d entered a whole new world, we were now certain we had.The only people likely to bug you were the police, or your friends at the Sun, Kate
The press settled themselves outside our house for a couple of days before agreeing to retreat to the end of the cul-de-sac. There they were to remain, in varying numbers, for three months. Somewhere there must be a whole library of exciting photographs of me driving in and out of our road. I can only imagine how annoying the media presence was for our neighbours, but they put up with it stoically and showed us nothing but kindness and support.Did Kate do any work at all, I hear you wonder.
Once again our family, friends and neighbours came to our rescue, shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, opening mail, entertaining the children and providing a shoulder to cry on and many a hug.
As they had been in Portugal, Sean and Amelie were blissfully untroubled by this semi-organized disorder and I thanked my lucky stars for that. They played inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs, leaving a trail of toys and laughter in their wake. But the frustrating necessity to shore up our defences not only distracted us from the search for Madeleine, it also robbed us of time with the twins.Oh give over, woman.
You appeared to organise your life precisely so that you spent the minimum time possible with your children, so don't make out like you were being somehow deprived of this
We tried to set aside periods of the day to take them for a swim or watch a DVD with them, but these weren’t nearly as frequent as we’d have liked. Perhaps not surprisingly, they were both a little unsettled at night for a while, often padding through to our bedroom in the small hours. We didn’t put up much resistance to their efforts to clamber into our bed. It was nice to have them with us, even if it had to be at ridiculous o’clock.
On Tuesday 11 September we had an 8am conference call with Michael Caplan, Angus McBride and Justine. It was decided that Justine and Angus would visit the editors of the main tabloid newspapers and Angus would explain to them that there was absolutely no evidence to support our involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.Okay - this is interesting.
When Justine was hired, it was as the Fund Manager, yet she had almost immediately, as Kate admits, been pressed into service as their full-time press liaison. Now she was off to tell the tabloid newspapers that the McCanns were innocent. As was Angus. Interestingly, Angus wouldn't have seen the evidence gathered by the PJ, and nor would Justine.
I also wonder why they didn't visit the editors of the broadsheets. Is it perhaps because this was really little more than a PR exercise?
Yet through all this, Justine was paid by the fund. Therefore the fund monies were being spent on providing Kate and Gerry with a full-time lackey who was now going around pleading their innocence with the papers.
It may be splitting hairs, but isn't that really part of their defence? The very thing they said would not be funded from Madeleine's fund?
Angus McBride and Michael Caplan were criminal defence lawyers, specialising in preventing their clients being extradited to stand trial, so quite why McBride was visiting newspaper editors is unclear, although I am sure it came in useful in securing his present position of Chief Counsel to News International. I have no idea who was paying them