Shannon Matthews' mother in court

The mother of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews, who went missing for 24 days earlier this year, appeared in court today charged with her kidnap and false imprisonment.

Karen Matthews, 33, appeared at Leeds Crown Court along with Michael Donovan, 40, who faces the same charges.



During a 20-minute pre-trial review, legal matters relating to the forthcoming trial were discussed by the prosecution and the defendants' barrister.



Matthews and Donovan will go on trial on 11 November. The case is expected to last between three and four weeks, the court was told.



Both defendants have already pleaded not guilty to the kidnap and false imprisonment of nine-year-old Shannon.



They also deny perverting the course of justice. Matthews also faces a child neglect charge.



Shannon disappeared on 19 February and was eventually discovered less than a mile from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, 24 days after she went missing.



Donovan, of Lidgate Gardens, Dewsbury, was arrested on 14 March after the schoolgirl was found in nearby Batley Carr.



Formerly known as Paul Drake, he is the uncle of Shannon's stepfather Craig Meehan.



Shannon vanished after going on a swimming trip. Police mounted a massive investigation involving hundreds of officers and a team of 60 detectives to find her. She was eventually found in a drawer of a bed.



Both defendants were remanded in custody following today's hearing.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935