Saturday, 28 December 2013

"Maddy Cops Prime Suspect Blunder" (Daily Mirror)

The innocent dad came forward in 2007 but mistakenly remained the main focus of the hunt until this year when Scotland Yard detectives tracked him down

The main focus of the hunt for whom? The Portuguese police appeared to have ruled him out as the "abductor" when they made Kate and Gerry McCann arguidos. Also, who reported having seen this man carrying a child in pyjamas identical to those that had been said to have been worn by Madeleine when she disappeared? Only Jane Tanner. She stated that she had walked up the road, slip-slapping in flip-flops, on the same side as Gerry and his friend Jez Wilkins, but neither of those men saw Jane Tanner or this "innocent dad." 

Bungling police had the details of the “main suspect” in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for SIX YEARS without realising.

So, tell me, who were these "bungling police."? (Later folks!)

The innocent dad came forward in 2007 to say he was the person seen carrying a child in Portugal at the time the three-year-old vanished.

Who did he say this to? And if he is an "innocent dad," is there a guilty dad? Yes, I am as pedantic as that! 

But the information was overlooked and the British holidaymaker remained the main focus of the hunt until this year when Scotland Yard detectives finally tracked him down.

Overlooked by whom?

The revelation will be a blow to Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, as they endure a seventh Christmas without their oldest daughter.

Not much of a blow since the McCanns still have the E-fit of this "innocent dad" up on their official Find Madeleine web site. (See "IMPORTANT: Who are these people?") 

The unnamed dad – spotted in the Praia da Luz resort by McCann family friend Jane Tanner at 9.15pm – was among a number of British witnesses who completed questionnaires for Leicestershire police six years ago.

Right! They completed a questionnaire for Leicester police! Is there any proof that Leicester police forwarded this to the Portuguese police? And if they did, was this done any more quickly than the statements from Katherine and Arul Gasper which were given to Leicester police on May 16th 2007 and forwarded to the Portuguese police approximately six months later? 

He is understood to have provided a detailed description of his movements on the night, including the fact he had picked up his own two-year-old daughter from a crèche close to where Madeleine vanished.

That'll be the night creche then, the one that parents can leave their children at while they have dinner, the one the McCanns didn't use, preferring to leave their three children alone in an unlocked apartment. 

But his ‘alibi’ was only looked at this year.

Surely Leicester police looked at it in 2007? And where is this man? Why hasn't he gone to the Daily Mirror or one of the other tabloids that would surely have been delighted to put him on their front page? He could have remained anonymous! 

A source said: “He had been clear then that he had picked her up at around the time of the sighting but for whatever reason he was not eliminated as a suspect. The fact the details of the prime suspect have been known all along doesn’t look good.”

Around the time of the sighting doesn't mean that he was anywhere near the place where Jane Tanner alleges that she saw the man definitely carrying Madeleine. 

Following Madeleine’s disappearance, Leicestershire police were responsible for collating all UK-based inquiries at the request of the Portuguese authorities.

And what did Leicester police do with the information received? Did they forward all of it, some of it, all of it at six months intervals? 

It is not clear if the questionnaires were analysed by the British force or simply forwarded to Portugal.

Or forwarded to Portugal at all. The Leicester police don't seem to have exhibited any great alacrity in forwarding statements. 

Ms Tanner, a close friend of Kate and Gerry, previously told officers that she saw the dark-haired man carrying away a child wearing pink floral pyjamas at 9.15pm on May 3, 2007.

I don't believe Jane Tanner saw anyone carrying a child. Her initial statement about the "sighting" was that she had seen a man carrying a bundle that could have been a child. This metamorphosed into a man carrying a child in pyjamas identical to those worn by Madeleine. That "bundle" became more and more clear with time! Gonçalo Amaral did not believe that Jane Tanner saw "Bundleman." 

One of the so-called “Tapas Seven”, she had been dining with the McCanns in a nearby restaurant when their daughter went missing.

A nearby restaurant? Nearby to what? It was over 120 yards from the McCanns' apartment, down a public road, through a reception area and round a swimming pool.

Her sighting meant that from 2007 onwards, Portuguese and British police presumed any abduction most probably took place between 8.30pm, when the McCanns went to dinner, and 9.15pm.

The Portuguese police ruled out abduction when they made the McCanns arguidos and that is obvious in the details of the legal case currently before the court in Portugal, where the McCanns are suing Gonçalo Amaral for his account of the investigation which concluded that Madeleine had probably died in apartment 5A. 

The realisation that it was a false lead has shifted detectives’ focus on to a later sighting at 10pm when an Irish family reported seeing a man walking towards the beach carrying a blonde girl in pyjamas.

This would be the man drawn in the E-fit which the McCanns' private detectives obtained five years ago and which the McCanns did not pass onto the Portuguese police. Perhaps the fact that Mr Martin Smith stated that he was fairly sure that the man he had seen was Gerry McCann had something to do with the decision not to share the information until Scotland Yard retrieved it from the detectives this year. But why do the McCanns still have "Bundleman" on their official web site? 

The revelation was described by DCI Andy Redwood, the Met officer leading the new investigation called Operation Grange, as a “revelation moment” when it was finally made by his team.

Well, it wasn't much of a "revelation" to those of us who have been following this case for six and a half years and have had doubts about Jane Tanner's "sighting." 

DCI Redwood said in October: “Our focus in terms of understanding what happened on the night of May 3 has now given us a shift of emphasis. We are almost certain that the man seen by Jane Tanner is not Madeleine’s abductor.

Hallelujah! Give that man a lollipop! 

“It takes us through to a position at 10pm when we see another man who is walking towards the ocean, close by to the apartment, with a young child in his arms.”

Look at a few maps, Mr Redwood. The Smith sighting was not close to the apartment! 

The innocent dad agreed to be pictured in the clothes he wore in Praia da Luz at the time to prove he was the man in the police sketch previously seen as key to cracking the case.

A very frugal "innocent dad" then. He had those clothes six and a half years later? 

His two-year-old’s pink pyjamas, which were described by Ms Tanner, were also brought to Scotland Yard to help prove his innocence.

And he still had the pyjamas? That stretched credulity just a bit for me! But then, Jane Tanner only "saw" the bottoms of Madeleine's pyjamas, which were not pink.

The new prime suspect was spotted by Martin Smith from Drogheda, Co Louth, as he returned to his apartment in Praia da Luz about 9.50pm.

And reported at the time and described to the McCanns' private detectives over 5 years ago! 

He saw a British-looking man carrying a motionless, barefoot girl in pyjamas. Madeleine was noted to be missing by Kate at 10pm.

So, there we have it! Must have been the abductor! 

The Smith family provided two efit images of the man more than five years ago. However, the sighting was viewed as too late to be significant because of Ms Tanner’s sighting– which is why the efits were only released publicly in a Crimewatch appeal broadcast in October.

The E-fits were only released publicly this year because they had been withheld by the McCanns! 

Detectives from Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange said they received an “overwhelming response” from viewers.

I wonder how many of them thought the E-fits looked like Gerry McCann? 

The programme featured a new reconstruction of the hours leading up to the three-year-old’s abduction.

Now that Scotland Yard has the E-fits from the McCanns' detectives and finally the Smith sighting is being taken seriously! Anyone pointing a finger at a "guilty dad."? Ask Mr Martin Smith! 

In a statement, Kate and Gerry said at the time: “We are absolutely delighted with the overwhelming public response to Crimewatch. We know that the public desperately want to help the search for Madeleine. We are genuinely hopeful that one or more of these responses will lead to a major breakthrough in the investigation.”

How very gracious of the McCanns. The public have been very helpful over these six and a half years, with so many "sightings," weird characters hanging around in Praia da Luz and so many new suspects! Pity the McCanns themselves were too busy on the night Madeleine disappeared to do any searching themselves! 

They added: “If anyone was in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s abduction and has not spoken to the Metropolitan Police, or if they know who any of the Efits might be, please have the courage to come forward and speak to the police in confidence.”

Excuse me, but Mr Martin Smith spoke to your private detectives and you kept his descriptive E-fits to yourselves! 

More than 1,000 people have come forward with fresh information and several named the same man as the prime suspect.

The "guilty dad."? Has he been arrested yet? Who is he? We should be told! 

Leicestershire Police yesterday refused to comment on the latest revelations.

Well, there's a novelty! Not!

A spokeswoman said: “The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police and it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”

Not the abduction then? 

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are not giving a running commentary.”

So, let's just leave the tabloids to make up stories about "bungling police." The only "bungling police" ever mentioned previously by British tabloids were the Portuguese and I am sure that the way this Mirror journalist has worded this story, many readers will read this as the Portuguese police again! So, who are being called "bungling" by the Daily Mirror? The Leicester police? The Portuguese police? All of them? Nothing new there! 

A spokesman for the McCann’s last night declined to comment saying it is “a matter for Operation Grange.”

So, they're not going to comment on the fact that Jane Tanner's sighting was ruled out six years ago or that they had the E-fits of the man described by the Smith family for five years or why they still have the E-fit of this "innocent dad," on their official web site? Not even through a "source close to the family"? Well, one wonders why they have gone very quiet!