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Shannon trial jury reconvenes tomorrow

The jury trying two people accused of kidnapping Shannon Matthews retired at lunchtime today to consider its verdict. It was later sent home for the night and the trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

Shannon's mother Karen Matthews, 33, and her co-accused Michael Donovan, 40, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court charged with the kidnap and false imprisonment of the young girl and perverting the course of justice.

Both deny all the charges.

During the three-week trial, the jury of seven men and five women has heard how Shannon, who was nine at the time, went missing from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, in February.

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

Matthews has denied the abduction and blamed the crime on her former partner, Craig Meehan, and other members of his family.

She said she was "disgusted" by allegations that she was involved in her daughter's abduction.

Donovan, who is the uncle of Mr Meehan, claims he was scared of Matthews and agreed to take Shannon only because he feared for his life.