Friday 26 May 2017

Maddie's mum was 'bullied by police to confess'

Tom Lawrence in London

Kate McCann has laid bare her shock and outrage after Portuguese police officials made her and husband Gerry suspects in the abduction of her daughter Madeleine.

The former doctor (43) also reveals how she smashed a bed in frustration over their handling of the investigation and how detectives attempted to bully her into a murder confession.

In a personal account of the three-year-old's 2007 disappearance, Mrs McCann said she and her husband were appalled by the treatment they received from the Policia Judiciaria, especially in the early stages of the hunt.

Describing one interrogation in an extract from the book 'Madeleine', released on Thursday, she said: "I felt I was being bullied, and I suppose I was.

"I assumed the tactics were deliberate -- knock her off balance by telling her her daughter is dead and get her to confess.

"On and on it went. They tried to convince me I'd had a blackout -- 'a loss of memory episode', I think they called it. My denials, answers and pleas fell on deaf ears. This was their theory and they wanted to shoe horn me into it, end of story."

In another stinging criticism of the Portuguese authorities in the immediate aftermath of the abduction, she added: "I was appalled by the treatment we received. Officers walked past us as if we weren't there. Our child had been stolen and I felt as if I didn't exist."

Mrs McCann also describes how she and her husband felt "completely alone" while searching for their daughter the day after her disappearance.

In another extract, serialised by 'The Sun' newspaper yesterday, she said: "Nobody else, it seemed, was looking for Madeleine. The frustration and anger were reaching boiling point. I felt like a caged, demented animal. This was torture of the cruellest kind, Finally, I erupted. I began to scream, swear and lash out.

"I kicked an extra bed that had been brought into the apartment and smashed the end right off."

Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, had been dining with her husband and seven friends at a tapas restaurant 100 metres from the youngster's room in the resort of Praia du Luz when Madeleine vanished.

Rage

In her candid account Mrs McCann also speaks of her rage after police offered her a plea bargain with the promise that she and her husband would receive a "lenient sentence" if they admitted that the youngster had died in an accident in the apartment and they had then disposed of her body.

Proceeds from the 384-page book, which Mrs McCann has written herself without the aid of a ghost writer, will boost the dwindling fund to search for her daughter.

The McCanns also hope that the publication will prompt people holding vital information about what happened to the child to come forward at last.

The book was due to be published last week but publishers Transworld postponed the release to May 12 -- Madeleine's eighth birthday -- to avoid clashing with the royal wedding.

Irish Independent

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