McCanns try to shield twins from book claims
THE parents of Madeleine McCann have prevented their young twins from looking at the internet in a bid to shield them from "terrifying" conclusions made in a book by the disgraced former detective who led the initial investigation into their sibling's disappearance.
A child psychologist hired by the McCanns to help Sean and Amelie, now eight, cope in the aftermath of their older sister's abduction, told a Lisbon court how damaging the claims by former policeman Goncalo Amaral could be.
David Tricky, 46, a specialist in dealing with children who have suffered trauma, told the libel hearing that Madeleine's siblings could be in danger of developing mental problems if they were to discover the claims made in the book The Truth of the Lie.
"I think that would be terrifying for the children to hear. To believe that the parents were not only unable to keep them safe but then to be told they were in some way involved in the death of their sister and covered it up, would have a serious impact," said Mr Tricky, who first met Sean and Amelie a few weeks after Madeleine disappeared in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.
He said Kate and Gerry McCann, both 45 from Rothley, Leicestershire, feared that, as the twins grew older and were more easily able to gain access to the internet, they were likely to come across the theories put forward by Mr Amaral.
The McCanns are suing Mr Amaral and the publishers of his 2008 book, and the makers of a subsequent documentary for £1m in damages. The civil case will continue on Thursday.