NEWS

Shannon Matthews' Mother Karen Now Says The Truth Will Come Out

What does she mean?

09/02/2017 10:30 | Updated 10 February 2017

The mother of Shannon Matthews has complained she is in fear for her life after a controversial new BBC drama series re-examined the staged abduction of her daughter.

Speaking after The Moorside aired to more than seven million viewers earlier this week, Karen Matthews said she is too afraid to leave her home.

According to The Mirror, she is said to have told a friend: “I cannot go out of the door. I’m frightened out of my life. I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m shit scared to even get any shopping or anything.

West Yorkshire Police/ PA Archive
Undated police handouts of Shannon Matthews, left and mother Karen, right

“I know I can’t stop it but why does it have to be dragged up again? Why don’t they just leave me alone and let me get on with my life?”

Karen, who continues to insist she had nothing to do with the abduction, is also alleged to have expressed a desire for the police to reinvestigate the case, cryptically claiming: “The truth’s going to come out.”

Shannon was reported missing on the evening of 19 February 2008 after she failed to return from a school trip.

In less than 24 hours, more than 200 officers from West Yorkshire Police were involved in the search.

The Sun
The Sun offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to Shannon Matthew’s safe return in 2008, which it later upped to £50,000

Hundreds of local volunteers, coordinated by Karen’s friend Julie Bushby, also took part in the search.

Karen, who is now in her early forties, made a number of emotional appeals for her daughter’s return.

The Sun newspaper offered a reward of £20,000 for information which would lead to Shannon’s safe return, later increasing the figure to £50,000.

On 14 March – 24 days after she was reported missing – Shannon was found alive and hidden in the base of a divan bed at a house in Batley Carr, West Yorkshire.

Michael Donovan, the uncle of Karen Matthews’ partner, Craig Meehan, was arrested at the scene.

John Giles/PA Archive
Karen Matthews makes an emotional appeal for the safe return of her daughter 

Her mother denied any involvement but Shannon was taken straight into care after her discovery.

Three days later, Karen was charged with child neglect and perverting the course of justice over her daughter’s disappearance.

She and Donovan went on trial, starting in September, and at the conclusion, both were found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice in December.

The plan had been to take Shannon, then release her, drive around the corner then “discover” her before claiming the £50,000 reward.

The court heard evidence from a forensic toxicologist that Shannon had been ingesting temazepam and travel sickness medication for a prolonged period. This suggested she was drugged.

In January 2009, both Karen and Donovan were sentenced to eight years in prison.

Karen was released in April 2012 after serving half her sentence. Donovan was released in March 2012.

According to The Sun, Karen is now a teetotal born-again Christian, living on benefits under a new name.

Craig Meehan, Karen’s boyfriend, was also found to be guilty of 11 offences of possessing indecent images of children. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison but was released because he had spent longer than that on remand.

After the trial, Shannon was taken into care. She was given a new identity and now lives with a new family.

She is now 18 years of age. 

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