Wednesday 26 July 2017

McCann family reverse story over break-in 'evidence'

Shane Hickey

THE spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann has reversed a statement made in the early days of the search for the missing child.

Speaking to RTE's 'Prime Time', Clarence Mitchell said she could "easily" have been kidnapped by an abductor who did not leave the trail of a break-in.

However, in the early part of the hunt, friends and family members told journalists that the shutter on the apartment where the McCanns were staying had been broken.

Mr Mitchell made his comments when questioned by a 'Prime Time' team in a report on the disappearance to be screened tomorrow. "There was no evidence of a break-in," said Mr Mitchell.

"I'm not going into the detail, but I can say that Kate and Gerry are firmly of the view that somebody got into the apartment and took Madeleine out the window as their means of escape, and to do that they did not necessarily have to tamper with anything. They got out of the window fairly easily."

Of the criticism that the McCanns left their children by themselves on four evenings while they went for dinner, Mr Mitchell said there was a cultural difference between Britain and Portugal.

"It is a British approach to get your children washed, bathed and in bed early in the evening if you can so you can have something of the evening to yourself. That is the British way of doing things. It doesn't mean it's wrong. It doesn't mean it's right," he said.

"Nobody feels more guilty than Gerry and Kate over the decision they took jointly to leave their children in that position that night. And they will never forgive themselves. They've said this often.

"Nobody feels more guilty than they that Madeleine was alone when she was taken. However, they felt they had a perfectly proper system of checking (her in place)."

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