Tell-tale lies of Shannon’s mum exposed in TV documentary

The mother of Shannon Matthews has become convinced by her own lies, one of the women she first confessed to revealed today.

Karen Matthews (33) was jailed for eight years at Leeds Crown Court in January after she was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

A major search was launched when her nine-year-old daughter vanished in February last year as she walked home from school near her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorks.

She was found 24 days later less than a mile from her home, hidden in the base of a divan bed in the flat of Matthews’ former partner’s uncle, Michael Donovan. Matthews maintained a constant presence in the media as police worked to find Shannon, who went missing less than a year after the case of Madeleine McCann hit the headlines.

But a documentary analysing how body language gives away criminals suggested Matthews showed numerous signs of her guilt. When even her friends became suspicious, they confronted her, prompting a confession and her immediate arrest.

Julie Bushby, who led the community campaign to find Shannon, said she felt “used and abused” when she discovered Matthews was involved in the disappearance.

She said that as she and another neighbour sat in the back of a car listening to Matthews admitting she had known where her daughter was all along, Matthews was “sobbing and they weren’t crocodile tears, they were proper tears, they was proper tears.”

Matthews went on to deny the charges throughout the trial and on a recent visit to her in prison, Ms Bushby told the programme Tears, Lies and Videotape she asked her why she did it.

“And she just glared at me actually and then says ‘I didn’t do it’,” she said. “She’s adamant she’s totally innocent, absolutely adamant. But I think she’s lied to herself that much that I think she convinced herself. But it was worth a try.”

The documentary hears from criminal experts who examine how webs of deceit unravel in the public eye, with tell-tale signs picked up during press conferences and TV coverage.

Professor Paul Ekman, the world’s leading criminal body language expert, said during Matthews’ plea for Shannon to come home her shoulder went up twice in a row,

“It’s like a slip of the tongue,” he said. “This is a gestural slip, she doesn’t know she’s doing it. Every time we have seen it, and we have seen it in many situations, the person has always been lying.”

Perhaps inspired by the moving shots of Kate McCann, whose daughter disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal, clutching Madeleine’s favourite toy, Matthews posed for pictures holding Shannon’s teddy bear.

But, along with bizarre comments that did not fit with natural expectations of how a distressed mother should behave, the action was exposed as fake.

Professor David Canter, the UK’s leading forensic psychologist, said: “She doesn’t know quite what to do with it – it’s totally different from the way Kate McCann carried the teddy everywhere with her as some sort of reassurance of her daughter.”

The tendency of Matthews’ lips to upturn betrayed her apparent enjoyment of the attention received as a result of the situation

“If you’re an anguished mother we wouldn’t expect that you’d be smiling,” said Prof Ekman. “She’s getting a kick out of being able to pull the wool over the eyes of the community and the police because she thinks this whole plot is going to succeed.”

Detectives and reporters add their thoughts on criminals’ attempts to hide the truth in the documentary.

Ian Huntley’s media performance 10 days after murdering schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002 comes under scrutiny, as well as the 1996 press conference and unravelling of the "road rage" story given by former glamour model Tracie Andrews.

* Tears, Lies and Videotape will be screened on ITV1 tonight at 9pm

* This article is from the Belfast Telegraph


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London