A photograph of missing Madeleine McCann was found in a scam device which claimed to be able to detect bombs and "contraband", a court has heard.

Three people who made and marketed the mobile phone-sized detector claimed it could detect objects by using paper and cards.

After police moved in, one of the devices was taken to an expert, Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey.

madeleine mccann

Madeleine McCann has been missing since 2007

He said: "Four pieces of paper were removed from the handle. On one piece of paper there was an image of Madeleine McCann, the missing child."

Madeleine, three, disappeared from a Portuguese holiday site in May 2007.

Simon Sherrard, 50, of Hill Rise, East Finchley, north London, denies supplying the Alpha 6 device for fraud.

Samuel Tree, 66, and his wife Joan, 61, of Houghton Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, deny making the device for fraud between 2007 and 2012.

The court was told the prosecution says the devices had no scientific basis, but the defendants say they believed they worked.

Mr Whittam told jurors the plastic casing and a free rotating antennae were made in China for about £5.

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They were then assembled in a converted shed in the garden of their semi-detached home.

Sherrard would then sell them through agents around the world to the military and governments for thousands of pounds.

Mr Whittam said: "The device does not work and they knew it did not work but it was made and supplied to be sold for profit.

"The device was called the Alpha 6 Molecular Detector, a revolutionary product for search and detection of specific contraband substances."

The devices were sold mainly for detecting explosives or drugs, claiming to detect substances as small as 15 billionths of a gram at up to 500 metres, using static electricity.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.

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  • Girl missing in Algarve

    A photo of Madeleine McCann that was taken when she was 3 years old.

  • Madeleine McCann

    FILE - This March 2007 file photo released by the McCann family Friday May 4, 2007 shows three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann. British police say Thursday July 4, 2013 they have launched a full investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and want to trace 38 "persons of interest" in the case. Detectives say it's possible that Madeleine, who vanished from a Portuguese holiday resort six years ago, is still alive. (AP Photo/McCann Family, File)

  • FILE- May 2, 2012 file photo Kate and Gerry McCann talk to reporters in London to mark their daughter Madeleine's birthday and the 5th anniversary of their daughter's disappearance during a family vacation in southern Portugal in May 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday. Lord Justice Brian Leveson will release his report, Thursday Nov. 29 2012, on a year-long inquiry into the culture and practices of the British press and his recommendations for future regulation to prevent phone hacking, data theft, bribery and other abuses. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

  • Kate McCann

    Kate McCann, the mother of missing girl Madeleine, who testified in the Leveson Inquiry arrives at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London where Lord Justice Brian Leveson is to release his report, after a year long inquiry, into the culture and practices of the British press and his recommendations for future regulation to prevent phone hacking, data theft, bribery and other abuses, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Kate McCann, Gerry McCann

    FILE - In this May 2, 2012 file photo, Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster, an age progression computer generated image of their daughter Madeleine at 9 years old, as they talk to the media in London to mark their daughter Madeleine's birthday and the 5th anniversary of their daughter disappearance during a family vacation in southern Portugal in May 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday. New Zealand police said Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 DNA tests have confirmed a New Zealand girl is not missing British youngster Madeleine McCann. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An undated photo of Madeleine McCann from the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Kate McCann looks at an inflatable News of the World poster of missing daughter Madeleine measuring approx 800sq ft on the beach in Praia Da Luz, Portugal.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Kate McCann, mother of missing Madeleine, during the recording of a television interview for the spanish television show "Los Mas Buscados" with images of Madeleine on a large TV screen behind her, in the Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    The GPR image that Stephen Birch believes shows a grave.

  • Missing girl in Algarve

    A photo of the May 15, 2007 search of the property in Praia da Luz where Stephen Birch believes he found a grave. The black box indicates the rubble pile he claims police never searched.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An October 2007 photo of the same location. Stephen Birch said this photo indicates the rubble pile had not been touched during the May 2007 search.

  • Missing girl in Algarve

    An overlay of the two photos.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An undated photo of Madeleine McCann from the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

  • Missing Madeleine McCann

    Kate and Gerry McCann in Quorn, Leicestershire, as they launch a petition to lobby the UK and Portuguese governments for a joint or independent review over their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Kate McCann, mother of missing girl Madeleine McCann leaves the village chruch in Praia Da Luz on the Algarve, Portugal, following a service.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An undated photo of Madeleine McCann from the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Kate McCann leaves a church service in Praia Da Luz, Portugal, 2 weeks after Madeleine McCann went missing on the evening of Thursday May 3.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An undated photo of Madeleine McCann from the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

  • Missing Madeleine McCann

    Kate and Gerry McCann give a press conference in central London on their newly published book 'Madeleine' about their daughter's disappearance in 2007.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Business card sized leaflets showing missing girl Madeleine McCann, which were handed out to fans during the Espanyol v Sevilla Uefa Cup final at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

  • Missing girl in Algarve

    Kate McCann leaves the special service for the 100th day of Madeleine McCann's disappearance at the local church in Praia Du Luz, Portugal.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    Kate and Gerry McCann make an appeal for their three year old Madeleine's return.

  • Girl missing in Algarve

    An undated photo of Madeleine McCann from the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

  • Madeleine McCann

    Composite photos showing three-year-old Madeine McCann, left, with a computer generated age progression image of the missing child as she might look now, right, issued Thursday July 4, 2013. British police say Thursday July 4, 2013 they have launched a full investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and want to trace 38 "persons of interest" in the case. Detectives say it's possible that Madeleine, who vanished from a Portuguese holiday resort six years ago, is still alive. (AP Photo/PA, Metropolitan Police, Teri Blythe) MANDATORY CREDIT ONE TIME USE ONLY UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

  • BRITAIN-MEDIA-POLITICS

    Gerry McCann, father of missing girl Madeleine McCann and a victim of phone hacking, speaks during a conference organised by the Hacked Off campaign, on the eve of the publication of the long-awaited Conservative proposal for a 'Royal Charter' for press regulation in Central London, on February 11, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-MEDIA-POLITICS-LEVESON

    Kate McCann, mother of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, joins members of 'Hacked Off', an organisation that advocates for victims of press abuse, as they make a statement following the publication of the Leveson Report into press ethics in central London on November 29, 2012 after a major inquiry launched in the wake of the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal. A major inquiry called for new laws to underpin a tougher watchdog for Britain's 'outrageous' newspapers in a move that threatens to split Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This theater image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows, from left, Gareth Saxe, Madeleine Martin and Mary McCann, in a scene from Simon Stephens’ drama, "Harper Regan," performing off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. (AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Kevin Thomas Garcia)

  • Kate McCann, Gerry McCann

    Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster of their daughter Madeleine as talk to the media in London Wednesday, May 2, 2012 to mark their daughter Madeleine's birthday and the 5th anniversary of their daughter disappearance during a family vacation in southern Portugal in May 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • MADELEINE MCCANN

    FILE - This March 2007 file photo released by the McCann family Friday, May 4, 2007, shows 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann. London's Metropolitan Police said Wednesday April 25, 2012 say it's possible missing girl Madeleine McCann is alive and they will release a new image of the girl, who went missing on a family vacation in the Algarve coast in Portugal in May 2007. (AP Photo/McCann Family, File)

  • Missing Madeleine McCann

    UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: In this handout artists impression from the UK's national police centre for protecting children - the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, a likeness of what missing child Madeleine McCann would look like today is seen. Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007 while on holiday with her family in Portugal and would now be 6 years old. (Photo Illustration by Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre via Getty Images)