Shannon's mother denies telling 'blatant lies'

The mother of Shannon Matthews today denied telling "blatant lies" to a jury as she resumed giving evidence at her trial.

Karen Matthews stepped into the witness box at Leeds Crown Court for a second day.

She began sobbing almost immediately as she was cross-examined by Alan Conrad QC, who is representing her co-accused Michael Donovan.

Mr Conrad said to her: "You're telling blatant lies to this jury, aren't you?"

She replied: "No".

Matthews wiped away more tears as Mr Conrad went in detail through interviews she gave the police after she was arrested over the disappearance of her daughter in February.

Matthews, 33, and Donovan, 40, are accused of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

Both deny the charges.

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, West Yorkshire.

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.

Mr Conrad asked Matthews why she told police in her interviews that she had asked Donovan to pick Shannon up from school.

Matthews said: "I didn't ask him to pick her up from school. I was confused what I was saying."

Matthews also told the court her partner Craig Meehan had told her to say this to the police.

Mr Conrad asked the defendant: "Why didn't you say to police 'Craig's put pressure on me to say these things'?"

Matthews replied: "Because I was scared of Craig."

She continued: "If he had found me he would have got me."

Mr Conrad accused Matthews of lying to the police throughout her interviews.

He said: "You were leading the police round the houses, weren't you? Telling them lie after lie?"

Matthews replied: "No."

Matthews said she did not want to pose for photographs with Mr Meehan holding missing person posters with Shannon's picture on.

When asked who made her do it, she said: "Craig and the rest of his family."

Matthews confirmed to the jury she went out shopping on the night Shannon went missing.

She said she went to help buy a satellite navigation system for her next door neighbour Neil Hyett, and also went to a local supermarket.

Matthews said it was Mr Hyett's wife, Amanda's, idea to go shopping for the sat-nav.

Mr Conrad said to her: "What were you doing going to find a sat-nav for Neil that night Shannon was missing?"

She said: "At the time Amanda told me it might be a good idea to go there and see if I could see anything of Shannon."

Mr Conrad asked her about going to the supermarket to buy beer and other goods.

Matthews said: "I didn't buy beer."

She said she bought "things that I needed".

Mr Conrad said: "While your little girl's missing?"

She said: "I needed to buy some food for the other kids as well."

Cross-examining Matthews, prosecutor Julian Goose QC accused the defendant of telling five different versions of what happened to Shannon.

Mr Goose said: "I suggest to you, Miss Matthews, that if you were the truthful victim of your daughter being taken away without your knowledge there's only one version, isn't there?"

He continued: "And you come back now to saying 'I didn't know what was going on, it was everyone else'."

Matthews said: "I didn't have nothing to do with it."

Mr Goose said: "You reported her missing, you gave every impression of being a concerned and honest mother who was beside herself at the missing daughter she loved so much. That was you, wasn't it?"

Matthews replied: "Yes."

Mr Goose continued: "And that's the account you're trying to come back to now, isn't it?"

Matthews said: "I love my kids to bits."

Mr Goose asked the defendant: "It's only Shannon that you seemed to try to get rid of?

"It's only Shannon you used in this wicked deception?"

Matthews answered: "I didn't use her."

Mr Goose asked Matthews why she was crying.

She replied: "Because I'm getting blamed for something I haven't done."

Matthews then told the jury she did not admit to anything before she was arrested in a car by Detective Constable Christine Freeman in April 6.

Mr Goose put it to her that in the car she agreed with a theory put forward by her friend Natalie Brown that she had asked Donovan to take Shannon.

He said these comments were heard by Mrs Brown, another friend in the car, Julie Bushby and Det Con Freeman.

Matthews said: "I didn't say anything like that to them."

Mr Goose then asked her why she thought she was arrested if she said nothing along these lines.

She said: "Don't know."

The prosecutor said: "Did she do it just for the fun of it or did something come from your mouth?"

Matthews replied: "I was never involved in any of this."

Mr Goose said Matthews changed her story during one police interview, from saying she didn't know where Shannon was, to saying: "I did ask him to take Shannon for a while."

The prosecutor said: "They can't both be true."

Matthews replied: "I was confused about what I was saying."

Mr Goose asked: "What were you confused about?"

"Everything," Matthews answered.

Mr Goose said: "Where's the confusion? One of these things is obviously a lie."

Mr Goose asked Matthews why she chose Shannon and not one of her other children.

Matthews replied: "I didn't choose her."

Suggested Topics
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape