Monday 18 December 2017

Maddie mum 'considered suicide' over death claims

Kate McCann: suffered trauma
Kate McCann: suffered trauma

Ben Farmer

KATE McCANN considered suicide and shared "dark thoughts" with her psychologist after a Portuguese detective published a book accusing her of faking her daughter Madeleine's disappearance, a libel trial has heard.

Mrs McCann spent days weeping after the book alleged that she and her husband Gerry hid their daughter's body after she died in an accident, her psychologist said.

Alan Pike said the McCann family had been trying to return to a normal routine after the loss of Madeleine in May 2007, when the book by Goncalo Amaral was published and traumatised them again.

Mr Pike, who was assigned to the McCanns by the tour operator days after Madeleine's disappearance, said: "She spent many days in tears and sobbing at the injustice done to Madeleine by the very people who should be helping her."

The psychologist said the book published in July 2008 had provoked "secondary trauma" that can be "more profound, deep-seated and often more extreme" than the initial trauma.

He told the court: "Kate in particular wasn't very well and she shared some dark thoughts with me about not being around any more. She said killing herself was an option to end the trauma she was experiencing. To share that with anyone will often alarm or worry the people they live with so I think I was the only person Kate shared this with." Mr Pike gave evidence at a court in Lisbon, Portugal, as part of a libel case against Goncalo Amaral, a former Policia Judiciaria detective.

Mr Amaral's book, 'The Truth of the Lie', as well as a documentary based on it broadcast in Portugal in 2009, allege that Madeleine died accidentally in a Praia da Luz holiday apartment, and that Mr and Mrs McCann hid her body and faked her abduction. The couple are suing the former policeman for damages equivalent to £1m.


Mr Pike said: "Kate and Gerry were horrified" at the content of the book "and its conclusions caused them more distress".

"One of its most devastating effects was that the family worried about its influence on public opinion in Portugal. People would believe that Madeleine was dead and they would stop looking for her. Publishing the book meant that the chances of finding Madeleine were diminished."

Mr Amaral's book was published three days after the criminal case into Madeleine's disappearance, in which the McCanns were named as "arguidos", or formal suspects, was closed.

The book sold 120,000 copies before it was removed from bookshops after the McCanns won an injunction against Mr Amaral and his publishers.

The documentary based on Mr Amaral's book broadcast by Portuguese channel TVI, which is a co-defendant in the libel case, was seen by 2.2 million people in Portugal and had a 50pc share of the viewing audience, the court was told.

The libel case continues.

Irish Independent

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