30 Jun 2011


Police officers can arrest people for serious offences if they have reasonable grounds to do so.   One of the reasons for arresting them is to conduct a tape recorded interview so that they can get further evidence from that interview.  Of course there are clever defendants like Kate and Gerry McCann.  She refused to answer all incriminating questions and he purported to answer most of them but in reality he did not, he just denied things etc.  

In a serious case the police may think they have sufficient evidence to charge, but they have to seek the professional opinion of Crown Prosecutors as to whether they do have a sufficient case in law meaning in all probability they will win it.  Quite often they are told, well no actually that is not a very good case, you need more evidence.  So typically what do the police do when they have already arrested and questioned a suspect but do not, at that stage, have sufficient evidence to actually charge them?  They bail them to a date by which time they will have conducted further investigations, this is often in a month's time but may be less in a serious case.  

When the police actually have someone in custody there are strict time limits as to how long they can hold them without charging them, typically 36 hours but this can be escalated beyond that by an application to the court.  

At no stage has it ever been considered that that time period has anything at all to do with the length of time a suspect may be placed on police bail (i.e. he is no longer being held, but must report back to the police on a specific date otherwise he is in breach of his bail conditions, a criminal offence.  But now, a lowest level criminal judge, a District Judge in the Magistrates Court has ruled that the time on bail counts as time holding the suspect and therefore you cannot apply for any more, if you bailed him for a month your maximum 96 hours has long since ran out.  This has been upheld on appeal to the Divisional Court.  It is like a charter for murderers and rapists to get one over on the hard pressed police trying to build a case.  The only way they can re-arrest is if there is "further evidence".  This kind of rings bells with what the Portuguese Police were saying and we know that in Portugal there is much greater emphasis on the Human Rights of the suspect that in UK.  Well usually and if the government get their way as to how judges are supposed to interpret the law.  

I am sure this drastic decision will be overruled by the Home Secretary either through further appeal, new legislation or having expert legal advice as to how it can be got around, but in the meantime, all those thugs on bail cannot be recalled to the police station, they just get away with it.  

I think it is high time our Judges got reminded of whose side they are supposed to be on, they are not there to be pedantic and play at law, they are there to promote justice and look after victims of crime.  

So do not get too excited yet Gerry, it is a bad decision and Theresa May will sort it and you!   But do not expect your arrest until they have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's without giving you the slightest sniff of what they know about you and your mates and what you did to little Maddie.  Viv x

Warning 'rapists and killers will walk free' after judge rules that suspects must be charged or released after 96 hours

  • Suspects could only be re-arrested 'if new evidence comes to light
  • ACPO labels court decision 'bizarre'
  • Confusion reigns as officers try to work out implications of ruling
Last updated at 6:56 PM on 29th June 2011

Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government were looking to appeal the decision which could have huge ramifications for the criminal justice system
Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government were looking to appeal the decision which could have huge ramifications for the criminal justice system
Tens of thousands of murderers, rapists and violent criminals could escape prosecution following a 'bizarre' legal ruling.
A judge ruled police must charge a suspect within four days or release them without charge.
They must no longer be freed on bail - and can only be recalled for further questioning later if new evidence comes to light.
The surprise decision, handed down by a judge at Salford Magistrates' Court has been backed by the High Court.
Police chiefs have been left baffled by the ruling and both the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and the Crown Prosecution Service are currently considering the ramifications for forces across England and Wales.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'I think this is a matter of great concern.
'We're working with Acpo at the moment and looking at a number of possibilities as to how we can advise the police on this issue.
'There may be an opportunity to appeal this decision.
'We are also looking at whether or not it's necessary to introduce legislation in order to deal with this issue.
'We are conscious of the concerns this judgment has brought in terms of operational policing.'
Officers are only able to hold a suspect for 96 hours before charging or releasing them.
The district judge in Salford ruled for the first time that the detention clock continues to run while the suspect is on bail from the police station.
In the case Paul Hookway, a murder suspect, was first arrested on November 7 last year.
A superintendent granted permission for him to be detained for up to 36 hours for questioning, but he was released on bail after about 28 hours.
Five months later, on April 5, police applied to the courts to extend the period of detention from 36 hours to the maximum allowed of 96 hours.
But the district judge refused the application, saying that the time limit had expired months ago.
Greater Manchester Police applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the case, but Mr Justice McCombe upheld the district judge's decision on May 19 and refused leave to appeal.
The force is now seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Adams, Acpo's lead spokesman on custody issues, said: 'The decision in this case has the potential for a wide-reaching impact and Acpo has significant concerns as to the effect it will have on policing.
'We are working with the Home Office to seek to reduce any immediate impact before the expedited hearing at the Supreme Court.
Sir Norman Bettison, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: 'This means unless this is overturned police can no longer put anyone out on bail for more than 96 hours without either being in a position to charge or release.
'It's on the verge of a disaster now because the question being asked by my custody sergeants is, "What do we do, boss?"
'I cannot countenance turning people away from the charge office and telling them all bets are off and they are free to go.'
Fury: Sir Norman Bettison said they were 'on the verge of disaster' following the decision
Mr Justice McCombe upheld the magistrates' court decision in the High Court
Fury: Sir Norman Bettison, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, left, said they were 'on the verge of disaster' following the Magistrates' Court decision upheld by Mr Justice McCombe, right, in the High Court
He went on: 'We are running round like headless chickens this morning wondering what this means to the nature of justice.
'My holding position with my officers is that I can't believe this is what was envisioned.
'We are awaiting advice from the CPS.
'The early indications are that until this matter is appealed or new legislation is passed the issue of putting people on bail for further questioning when they answer their bail is pretty much a dead duck.
'We are waiting, as the rest of the world is, for the best advice from the best legal minds. It's a mess.'


Suspects in serious cases are routinely held for up to 96 hours.
Although normally people can only be kept in police custody for 24 hours, for more serious offences a police superintendent can extend the period by a further 12 hours.
Officers can then apply to a Magistrates Court for up to 96 hours.
After that point the suspect must either be charged, released or released on bail and recalled at a later date.
The High Court have ruled that suspects can no longer be bailed - and must be charged or released.
They can only be re-arrested for the same crime again if new evidence comes to light.
In light of the decision, the situation is currently under review.
Sir Norman added he was telling his officers to continue working as they have always worked, ensuring no suspect spends more than a maximum of 96 hours actually in custody, until further guidance was issued.
About 4,260 suspects are currently on bail from his force alone - which represents about 5 per cent of the police service - meaning about 85,200 people are on bail at any one time, he said.
James Welch, legal director for the civil rights group Liberty, said: 'Being out on bail pending investigation is not the equivalent of being detained.
'Limits on the time that suspects can be held in police custody are necessary but there are good reasons why the police should be allowed to bail suspects for more than 96 hours.
'If this decision cannot be appealed legislation should be introduced to clarify the law.
'This would also be an opportunity to introduce safeguards into the system and to extend the regime to include terror suspects and end the scandal of punishment without trial.'
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the issue was 'a matter of grave concern for police across the country'.
'They have suddenly been told they may not be able to recall suspects who are out on police bail for further questioning, an ID parade or other investigation unless there is new evidence in place,' she said.
'Because it seems this has immediate effect, it will disrupt vital ongoing investigations and hugely hamper the police in their job.
'Police officers I have spoken to are deeply alarmed at the implications for criminal cases they are working on right now.'
She went on: 'The Home Office have known about this judgment for six weeks.
'The Home Secretary needs to explain urgently what her legal advice says and what she will do to sort this problem and make sure thousands of ongoing investigations aren't lost.
'If the only answer is emergency legislation to temporarily restore the old arrangements until further work can be completed, then we stand ready to help the Home Secretary get this through.
'But the public and police need an urgent answer so important cases aren't put at risk.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2009477/Bail-crisis-court-rules-police-charge-release-suspects-FOUR-days.html#ixzz1QiBoBO66

29 Jun 2011


With my compliments to "Bren" of the 3 Arguidos for this article which would otherwise no longer be available.  

This article needs reading rather carefully, it is talking about two different scenarios, the  accidental death of Madeleine or the abduction of Madeleine.  Read whose mobile phone data they were looking at to track Madeleine's "abductors".   Russell O'Brien was apparently getting legal advice via the McCann's lawyers, that is hardly surprising given he and Gerry were missing just as Maddie was apparently getting abducted.  

I hope people can move on from the apparent accidental death and start reading what has always been there, for those that want to see.  All theories deserved to be looked at and obviously the death of Madeleine was one that needed looking at, (parents often do that) but....it was always made plain the abduction scenario was also being looked at, particularly by Goncalo Amaral's replacement, Mr Rebelo.  

This talk of them moving Madeleine's body about several weeks later is just plain rubbish.  

Deleted Express Article


Saturday December 1,2007
By Nick Fagge and David Pilditch in Praia da Luz

Kate and Gerry McCann are still regarded as the prime suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine despite inconclusive findings from DNA evidence.

Portuguese police will come to Britain next week to re-interview the seven friends who were dining with the couple on the night the little girl vanished, a highly placed source claimed yesterday.

It shatters the couple’s hopes that they will be cleared by Christmas.

Investigators say that while findings revealed at a DNA summit this week did not give them enough evidence to bring charges, they do provide the legal basis to demand further interviews of the McCanns’ friends and relatives on British soil.

Leaks in Portugal claim tests on DNA samples support Portuguese detectives’ theory that the couple were involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Portuguese daily newspaper 24 Horas reported that a police source said: “The existing evidence up until now is far from clearing the McCann couple in the case.

There are more and more indicators that they were involved in the disappearance of the child, but it has been difficult to prove this fact. We will continue to follow all hypotheses.

Investigators still cling to the theory that Madeleine died as the result of an accident in the family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz, and that her parents hid and later disposed of the body with the help of their friends.

Respected Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha reported: “The main theory is still the accidental death of the child on the afternoon of May 3, specifically in the two hours when the parents were alone with their children.

“That is when the McCanns say they gave her a bath and put the three children to bed before 8.30pm and then met their friends for dinner.”

Detectives are understood to be intrigued by “certain inconsistencies” in the statements made by the McCanns’ seven diningcompanions.

They also want to know who Kate was referring to when she cried “they’ve taken her” when she found Madeleine was missing. These are among “100 questions” detectives want to put to the McCanns and their friends, police sources claim.

Yesterday British ambassador Alex Ellis and Algarve official Angela Morado met Paulo Rebelo, who heads the investigation, and Portimao District Attorney Jose Magalhaes e Meneses at police headquarters in Faro.

The British Embassy in Lisbon said the timing was a coincidence but confirmed the McCann case had been discussed.

A team recently returned from the UK where it was told what the Forensic Science Services lab had learned from analysis of blood and hair found at the McCanns’ holiday apartment and in their hire car.

But yesterday sources close to the investigation said the tests “are only one of the pieces of the puzzle” and “other operations were being done”.

Yesterday Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said: “Kate and Gerry’s friends are happy to be reinterviewed by police if necessary, indeed are keen to help if it clears up any inconsistencies. They, like Gerry and Kate, have nothing to hide.”

The McCanns, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, were named as suspects on September 7. Gerry wrote in his blog yesterday of his hopes of being free of suspicion by Christmas.


Transcription of the articles in the Sunday Express 2 December 2007.
Paper edition. With many thanks to Bouncy for typing this up.

A close friend of Kate and Gerry McCann who was holidaying with them when Madeleine vanished will be questioned by Portuguese police this week over a "mystery" phone call.

Dr Russell O'Brien, 36, has come under investigation after a team of telephone surveillance officers highlighted a mobile phone call made to the missing four-year-old's father just over a month after she disappeared.

Portuguese detectives now believe that a phone call between Gerry McCann, 39, and Dr O'Brien is the missing link in Madeleine's disappearance and could help find her body.

Investigators are focusing on the exact whereabouts of Dr O'Brien when the call was made on June 10.

Last night it was unclear exactly what was said during the debated call but it is understood that key words aroused police suspicions.

The development is a massive blow to the McCanns who had been led to believe they would be cleared of any involvement in their daughter's alleged death by Christmas.

A team of senior detectives are to fly to Britain after gaining official permission to re-interview certain members of the group, including Dr O'Brien. He has taken advice from a lawyer recommended by the McCann legal team.

The Sunday Express has learned Mr McCann told police the call, 38 days after Madeleine vanished, was made within 4km of the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz where the party were staying but technicians working on the mobile phone network have dismissed his claim after examining records.

It has also emerged that each member of the "Tapas Nine" was placed under surveillance after Brisitish communications experts arrived in the Algarve at the end of May.

A close friend of the group told how just weeks after Madeleine went missing, her parents and their friends had grown concerned they were being closely watched by Portuguese police.

He said: "Although they never officially thought they were under surveillance - Kate and Gerry were always cautious when making calls because they knew it was possible that somebody could be listening in.

"They were concerned that their phones could have been tapped or that the electronic traffic between them and their friends was being recorded"

Kate and Gerry, both 39, were named as "arguidos", formal suspects, in their daughter's disappearance on September 9.

They have not been charged but police let it be known they had evidence to indicate that Madeleine accidentally died in apartment 5A and her body was hidden for weeks before being moved in the boot of a Renault Scenic the family hired 25 days later.

British experts attempted to trace the movements of Madeleine's abductor by following a trail left by mobile telephone signals. The technique helped convict Ian Huntley for the murders of Holly wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.

Trails are created by silent transmissions sent by mobile phones even when not in use. These create a timed computer log of the handset's movement which can narrow down its location to an area as small as a few square yards.

Police analysts examining records of mobile phones belonging to the McCanns and their holiday group returned their findings to Portuguese prosecutors last week.

Detectives used the detailed information to "test" statements by guests and staff at the Ocean Club complex.

Last week, Portuguese officers arrived in Britain to talk to Leicestershire Police and British forensic experts about the implications of DNA results from tests at the Forensic Science Service's base in Birmingham.

Friends of the McCanns thought the summit indicated Madeleine's parents would be cleared as suspects after DNA evidence against them appeared to collapse, but last night it was clear there are still doubts about contradictions in the statements the group gave to police. Both Kate and Gerry McCann deny any involvement with Madeleine's disappearance but police still maintain the case against them does not rely on DNA results.

Dr O'Brien could also be named as an arguido. Last night a friend said: "If he faces a situation where the arguido status becomes an issue, it allows certain rights, like the right to have a lawyer present and the right to remain silent."


Now hunt centres on disused barn

The hunt for Madeleine McCann last night centred on a disused barn near Praia da Luz where police found a towel stained with what may turn out to be the little girl's blood.

Fibres found on the towel allegedly match fibres from the hire car rented by Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

Portuguese detectives discussed the breakthrough when they met British police and a Crown Prosecution Service official last week at a police station in Leicester.

Today for the first time the Sunday Express can shed light on the new avenue plicie are pursuing in the hope of a breakthrough in the baffling case.

Based on fresh information from mobile phone surveillance police began a search of an area in the south east of the resort. They came across a towel, with an Aztec design, near a disused barn in a remote area close to Praia da Luz.

Portuguese sources say forensic scientists used a substance called Luminol to look for blood deposits and found three sites on the edges of the towel. They tested the blood deposits to see if there was a match for Madeleine's DNA.

Although the samples were not good quality the scientists were able to do what is called low copy analysis, which showed there was "moderate" support to suggest the blood deposits matched Madeleine's blood.

The results were not conclusive are not regarded as being strong enough to be presented as evidence in any court case.

They also found a loaf and a carrier bag, which produced no significant information, but close analysis of the towel revealed fibres which were not made of the towel material. The fibre fragments were microscopically examined against fibres found in the boot of the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns 25 days after Maddie vanished.

Portuguese police said there was "strong support" that the fibres found on the towel matched fibres from the boot of the car.

One possibility being considered by the Portuguese detectives was that the towel had at some point been in the boot of the Renault Scenic, which would explain how fibres had got on it.

24 Jun 2011




I was reading some posts on Missing Madeleine today, someone quipped, well every time they got the story wrong they change and that is true.  It was also commented how selfish were the McCanns?  Instead of being out looking for Madeleine that night, they were phoning friends and relatives in the early hours of the morning to get their story out for the morning press.  Gerry was overheard by one witness around 11 that same night, yes, within an hour, apparently, of little Maddie going missing, "she has been taken by a gang of Portuguese paedophiles".  

I have to agree the McCanns, from the very first moments, were just intensely scheming and not the least concerned to go out and look for Madeleine, they knew exactly where she had gone.  

In their frantic rush to get their story out there, lines inevitably got "fluffed".  See how their close friend Jill Renwick tells of them going out at 8, then checking the children at 9 and then at 10.  In short hourly checks.  Now she could not have got those calls wrong could she, how would you report such an important detail to the press if it was wrong.  Likewise the jemmied shutters and damaged windows, no less than five friends and relatives reported this in the media.  Of late Kate wants to tell us that was a "red herring" by the abductor, oh really Madam?  

I think those red herrings belong all to you and your husband and just how bad do they smell now.  

Like others I also think it was great Kate wrote her book.  People finally begin to believe what I have always said, the British Police are not for them but against them.  Kate even confirmed in her book, Leicester Police opposed their application to Mrs Justice Hogg to get the police files on the basis "there is no evidence the McCanns are not involved".  Well that is true Kate, but there is one heck of a lot of evidence you were!   

May 5, 2007

Parents checked sleeping child every half-hour - but still she was abducted

A desperate search for a three-year-old British girl continued last night after she disappeared from an upmarket beach resort in Portugal while her parents dined near by.
Despite their half-hourly checks on her as she slept, Madeleine McCann went missing from her parents’ rented holiday apartment in the Algarve on Thursday night as they ate tapas only 50 yards away.
Relatives claimed that she had been abducted from the Ocean Club resort, run by the holiday company Mark Warner, in the seaside village of Praia da Luz.
Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, were being comforted last night by friends and consular officials.
Madeleine, known as Maddy, vanished after being left to sleep between her brother and sister, two-year-old twins.
Mr McCann and his wife, who was clutching Madeleine’s pink teddy bear to her chest, made a public appeal last night for the return of their daughter.
Mr McCann said: “Words cannot describe the anguish and concern we are feeling at the loss of our daughter Madeleine. We now request that if you have any information about Madeleine’s disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police so we can have her back. Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come back to mummy, daddy and her brother and sister.”
The family have moved to another apartment 150 yards from the one from where their daughter is said to have been taken.
The McCanns went to Portugal last Saturday with a group of eight couples, friends said. Mr McCann, a cardiologist, and his wife, a GP, went out for a meal at a tapas bar within the complex at 8.30pm on Thursday, leaving Madeleine sleeping between Sean and Amelie, the twins. The couple checked on their children every half an hour and ensured that the doors were locked, it was said.
The resort offered a crãche service but the McCanns chose to leave the children sleeping at the apartment, taking turns to check on them. Between their checks at 9.30pm and 10pm, the apartment was broken into through a window and Madeleine was taken, according to her aunt. Trish Cameron, Mr McCann’s sister, from Dum-barton, near Glasgow, said it appeared that someone had been spying on Madeleine and had targeted her for abduction.
“The front door was open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open and Madeleine was missing,” she said. “Nothing had been touched in the apartment, no valuables taken, no passports. They think someone must have come in the window and gone out the door with her.”
Police were called at 10.20pm as Madeleine’s parents became increasingly anxious. Soon, fellow guests were notified. About 60 staff and holidaymakers searched until 4.30am, while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.
Three police vans and three police cars were at the scene as officers searched the family’s apartment. Others searched the beach 200 yards away.
Specialists fingerprinted the windowsill of the apartment. Sniffer dogs were brought in by Portuguese detectives and unconfirmed reports indicated that Madeleine’s scent had been picked up.
The resort caters for 1,000 holidaymakers and is set in lush subtropical gardens. It is made up of self-catering villas and apartment blocks and has several bars and restaurants.
John Hill, the manager at Ocean Club, said that reports that the flat had been broken into had yet to be confirmed.
But Jill Renwick, a family friend, told GMTV that the McCanns were certain that Madeleine had been abducted.
“They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine,” she said. “They went out about 8, went back in at 9, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.
Ms Renwick said that it was the McCanns’ first holiday of this sort. “They are very, very anxious parents and very careful, and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”
A spokesman for Mark Warner, which has run the resort for two years, said that looking after the McCanns was their priority. “If necessary, the company will fly other family members out to the Ocean Club. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon,” he said.
Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner had never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
He said that Mark Warner offered a baby-sitting service. “Those facilities were available but, for whatever reason, they were not being used,” he said. Another spokeswoman for Mark Warner said that in the Algarve, unlike most of their resorts, the company did not supply a “room listening” service, where nannies regularly listen at the door of sleeping children.
John Stephen Buck, the British Ambassador to Portugal, travelled to the Algarve yesterday, as did Craig Mayhew, Mark Warner UK operations director, and a counsellor. The McCanns remain at the police station in Portimão, helping police to piece together what has happened.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said that the Serious Organised Crime Agency was liaising with British and Portuguese police. He added that two officials from the British Consulate in Portimão were with the family.