Shannon accused denies pushing her into car

The man accused of kidnapping Shannon Matthews today denied pushing the young girl into his car.

Giving evidence for a second day, Michael Donovan, 40, of Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, West Yorkshire, told Leeds Crown Court Shannon got into his car saying her mother, Karen Matthews, had told her they were going to the fair.



Donovan and Matthews, 33, both deny kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice in connection with the girl's disappearance.



In cross-examination, Frances Oldham QC, for Karen Matthews, said: "Yesterday, you told us, Shannon said this: 'Hi Mike, mum said you're taking me to the fair tonight'.



"You know Shannon Matthews never said that, did she?"



Donovan replied: "Yes, she did."



Ms Oldham continued: "What I suggest happened is you stopped and pushed her into your car."



Donovan said: "No, I didn't do that."



The court has heard how Shannon, who was nine at the time, was found in Donovan's flat 24 days after she went missing from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, in February this year.



The prosecution allege Donovan kept her drugged and imprisoned in his flat as part of a plan he and Matthews had to claim £50,000 in reward money.













Donovan again denied any knowledge of a strap found in his loft which it is alleged was used to restrain Shannon.

He said it was a "mystery" to him as he was unable to get into his loft.



Referring to a list of rules found in his flat, he denied he had written them.



Mrs Oldham put it to him: "You wrote these rules out yourself, not copied from another piece of paper?"



"No, I copied it from an A4 piece of paper," Donovan told the jury.



He claims he was given the rules by Matthews.



Donovan told the jury he showed Shannon some of his daughter's clothing.



"I showed her some. It was up to her if she wore it or not," he told the jury.



He denied that he regarded Shannon as one of his daughters.











Donovan denied that his sister, Alice Meehan, and niece, Amanda Hyett, were involved in the plan to take Shannon.

But he said he did not know if Craig Meehan, his nephew and Matthews' partner, was involved.



Mrs Oldham said to Donovan: "This plan involving Shannon, involved you, Craig, the Hyetts, and Alice, didn't it?"



Donovan said: "Not to what I know about Amanda and Alice."



Mrs Oldham said: "But Craig?"



Donovan replied: "I'm not sure about Craig."



Mrs Oldham continued: "You, Mr Donovan, and members of your family made this plan?"



Donovan said: "No."



Mrs Oldham said Donovan was the person controlling the plan.



She said: "Mr Donovan, you knew exactly what you were doing, didn't you? You were the one in control, you were in control of Shannon?"



Donovan denied the suggestions.















Mrs Oldham told the court that letters and pictures by Shannon had been found in Donovan's flat.

Donovan agreed that the nine-year-old had written a letter to one of his daughters and drawn a picture of Blackpool after he said it was his one of his favourite seaside places.



But he said the schoolgirl had made them of "her own free will" and he had not forced her.



Mrs Oldham also read out a letter written by Shannon.



Reading the letter, she said: "Dear John, when me and my dad go to Blackpool, we're going to take some pictures of Blackpool seaside and a bus. I love you, I will miss you, so will my dad. Love Shannon and Dad."



Donovan said Shannon was referring to Craig Meehan when she wrote "Dad" and said he did not know who John was.



Yesterday, the court heard that Donovan had taken one of his daughters to Blackpool during a custody dispute with his former wife.



He denied planning to take Shannon to Blackpool.



Mrs Oldham referred to a number of phone calls between Donovan and his sister, Alice.



She put it to Donovan that his case was that Karen Matthews was using Alice's phone.



"She did do, yeah," he told the court.



Mrs Oldham said: "She knew about the plan, didn't she? She, Alice, knew about the plan.



"I don't think so, no," he replied.

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