Mother 'showed no interest in Shannon welfare'

Karen Matthews did not ask about the welfare of her daughter when police told her she had been found but made a "glib comment" about an officer's mobile ringtone, a court heard today.

Matthews made no inquiries about her daughter's welfare as she was driven to a police station after Shannon was found following a 24-day search.



Detective Constable Mark Cruddace told a jury at Leeds Crown Court that he attended Moorside Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, with a colleague to break the news of Shannon's discovery.



The officer said there was a "buzz of excitement in the house" and he got the impression "people knew before we got there".



Julian Goose QC, prosecuting, asked him if there was "any time when she asked about the welfare of her daughter or where she had been found".



The officer replied: "No, she didn't."



Mr Goose asked him if anything else happened as they travelled in the police car.



Mr Cruddace said: "A bit of a strange incident where my colleague's phone rang.



"When the phone rang, Karen just commented on the fact she liked the ring tone."



The officer agreed it was a "glib comment".



Yesterday, the jury was told Shannon was drugged and restrained with a strap tied to a roof beam after her mother hatched a plan to make £50,000 from her faked kidnap.



The jury was told Shannon was kept locked in a flat for 24 days by Michael Donovan, who police believe used an elasticated strap with a noose on the end to tether her when he went out.



Prosecutors said Donovan drugged the nine-year-old with Temazepam and travel sickness tablets and gave her a list of "rules".



All the time Shannon's mother, Karen Matthews, kept up a "wicked and dishonest lie" - knowing all the time where her daughter was as police conducted a massive search operation which eventually cost almost £3.2m, the jury was told.



Matthews, 33, and Donovan, 40, deny kidnapping Shannon, who is now 10, and falsely imprisoning her. They also deny perverting the course of justice.



The court heard the pair hatched the plan to kidnap Shannon in Dewsbury in February to get hold of reward money which was offered by a newspaper.



The court was told Shannon went missing on 19 February after a swimming trip at school.



It is alleged Donovan kept Shannon prisoner at his first-floor flat in Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr - a mile from her home in Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor.













Mr Cruddace confirmed that, earlier in the search for Shannon, he was told by Matthews that a clairvoyant had described a flat in Dewsbury where the little girl could be found.

The officer said he was told this at Moorside Road by the defendant and her then partner, Craig Meehan.



He told the court: "We were told by both Karen and Craig Meehan that they'd been to see a medium or clairvoyant who'd given them a strong indication that Shannon Matthews could be found at an address in West Town.



"They said they'd been on a walk the night before and this medium had directed them to this flat."



Mr Cruddace said he did not have an exact address but was able to find the property easily, given the directions.



He confirmed that he called at the address with another detective and spoke to the occupier.













Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan, the senior investigating officer in the search for Shannon, said huge police resources were used.

He told the jury at one point he had 75-85 detectives working on the search for the nine-year-old.



By comparison, he said, a murder inquiry would normally have 10-15 detectives working on the case. A large management team was also set up as the hunt for Shannon intensified.



The search for Shannon meant detectives working on "live" inquiries, such as murder and stranger rapes, were re-deployed to help in the hunt for the youngster, he said.



"We always hoped we would find Shannon safe and well and we hit it with everything we had got and we had to take people from live jobs," he said.



About 800 people in the area were identified as being particularly interesting to the inquiry, Mr Brennan told the court.



He said the inquiries relating to these people were "particularly intrusive", especially as some of them lived close to Shannon's house.



Mr Goose asked the detective if he had ever had any doubt this was a genuine missing person inquiry until Shannon was found.



He replied: "None at all".



Mr Brennan added: "It was quite unlike anything I've been involved with."



He agreed he used Matthews to keep the press interest in the case.



But he disagreed that the media interest was "frenzied".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before