Karen Matthews, Kidnap Mother Of Shannon Photographed For First Time Since Release From Prison

Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 13/04/2012 11:36 Updated: 13/04/2012 11:45

Karen Matthews, the mother who kidnapped her own daughter to claim reward money, has been photographed for the first time since being released from prison.

In exclusive pictures published by The Sun, the overweight redhead appears to have undergone something of a transformation during her four years inside.

She is thought to have lost up to two stone and has cut her distinctive, shoulder length hair into a fashionable spiky style, with a floppy fringe. Her locks have also been dyed a rich shade of plum.

Scroll down for a gallery of images from the hunt for Shannon

The mother-of-seven wore heavy make-up to cover facial scars and moles and appeared healthy and happy as she was snapped enjoying a shopping trip with her probation worker.

A source said: “She had to serve only half her sentence and now she has been rewarded with a makeover and a shopping trip. It’s insane.”

The newspaper did not reveal exactly where in the country Matthews was photographed, but it believes she may be moved from her current probation hostel now her identity has been compromised.

Matthews apparently spent Easter Sunday making cards for her children and has been pitching in, helping to keep the premises clean.

She was jailed for eight years after staging nine-year-old Shannon's disappearance in order to pocket £50,000.

Along with Michael Donovan, 40, Matthews was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice after her daughter was discovered under a bed in Donovan's home. She had been tied up and drugged. It had taken police 24 days to find her in a hunt which cost £3.2million.

Matthews was released from Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire eight day ago after serving half of her sentence.

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File photo dated 3/3/2008 of Karen Matthews, the mother of missing 9-year-old Shannon Matthews, holding her daughter's favourite teddy bear as she makes an emotional appeal for her safe return.
Issue date: Wednesday November 12 2008
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