REFERENCES TO PAEDOPHILIA IN RELATION
TO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE MCCANN
TO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE MCCANN
Paedophilia and paedophiles are words from which we naturally recoil. It is by no means a new phenomenon. There are many other words we use to refer to paedophiles: kiddie-fiddlers, nonces, child sexual abusers, child sex offenders and so on. Some of the crimes committed by paedophiles are scarcely believable in their brutality; other offences by them are mercifully less serious. One thing seems certain, such crimes are on the increase and are often severe in their long-lasting effects on those abused. There is widespread agreement that the internet is a major cause of any increase in this vile crime.
It is an unpleasant fact that the subject of paedophilia has frequently been associated in some way with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, very regrettable though that is. Here, for the record, we give a brief summary of some of these references:
1. Dr Gerry McCann said on the day Madeleine was reported missing that Madeleine had been taken by a paedophile
Leaving aside for a moment the lack of direct evidence that Madeleine was abducted at all, there clearly is also no direct evidence whatsoever that, if Madeleine was abducted, that it was a paedophile who took her. Yet the McCanns themselves, on the very evening that Madeleine was reported missing, claimed she had been snatched by one or more paedophiles. That was a remarkable thing for them to say right from the first minute they reported Madeleine as missing. She might for example have wandered out of her room and out of the flat.
2. The McCanns and their team repeatedly said that Madeleine had been taken by a paedophile or a gang of paedophiles
In the months that followed her reported disappearance, the McCann Team made numerous references, counted in dozens, to the probability that Madeleine had been abducted by paedophiles.
3. One of the McCanns’ close friends, a General Practitioner, said that on a previous holiday together, one of Dr Gerald McCann’s best friends, Dr David Payne, had made sexualised remarks and gestures about Madeleine
On 16 May 2007, just 13 days after Madeleine disappeared, Dr Katarina Gaspar made this statement:
“One night, when all the adults, that is, from those couples I have mentioned above, were all sitting around on a patio outside the house where we were all staying. We had been eating and drinking ‘Berbers’. I was sitting between Gerry and Dave and I think both were talking about Madeleine. I can't remember the conversation in its entirety, but they seemed to be discussing a particular scenario. I remember Dave saying to Gerry something about ‘she’, meaning Madeleine, ‘would do
“While he mentioned the word ‘this’, Dave was doing the action of sucking one of his fingers, pushing it in and out of his mouth, while with his other hand he was doing a circle around his nipple, with a circular movement around his clothes. This was done in a provocative way. There seemed to be an explicit insinuation about what he was saying and doing. I remember being shocked by that. I always felt it was something very weird and that it was not something anyone should say or do. I looked at Gerry, and also at Dave, to gauge their reactions.
“I looked around as if saying: “Did someone else hear that, or was it just me?”. The conversations stopped for a moment, then we all began conversing again. Moreover, I remember Dave doing the same thing on another occasion. In saying this, I want to mention once again that it was during a conversation in which he was talking about an imaginary scenario, although I’m not sure.
“He again stuck one of his fingers in and out of his mouth and with the other hand he once again drew a circle around his nipple in a provocative and sexual way. I think he was referring to the way she, that is, his daughter Lily, would behave or what she would do. I think he did this later during this same holiday, but I'm not sure.
“The only time since then that I have been in the company of Dave and Fiona was several weeks after the holidays, when Savio and I met Gerry, Kate, Dave and Fiona in a restaurant in Leicester. I’m sure that he said what he said and made the gestures I have related, but [the second time] it could have happened in the restaurant in Leicester, although I do think it was in Majorca that I heard Dave say and do this for the second time. After the second occasion [when he made these gestures] I took it more seriously.
“I remember thinking whether he would look at my daughter and other little girls in a different way than I or others do. I imagined that he had perhaps visited internet sites related to little children. In a word, I thought that he could be interested in child pornography on the web. During our holiday in Majorca, each parent would bath the children in turn. I was keen to stay near the bathroom if Dave was bathing the children.
“I remember I said to Savio to be careful and to be close by if Dave was helping to bathe the children and my daughter in particular…”
4. Dr Katarina Gaspar’s husband, also a General Practitioner, Dr Arul Savio Gaspar, confirmed this event:
“During the period we stayed at the villa I remember a gesture made by David Payne. I do not remember the context of the conversation between David and Gerry, but I do remember seeing David use his left index finger to rub his nipple, using circular movements, whilst he put his right index finger into his mouth, touching his tongue. This happened during a meal, at the end of the day, in the villa. I do not remember the time or the date, but we would usually dine between 7.30pm and 9.00pm every day. I think this happened in the middle of the holiday.
“I remember that when I saw this gesture, I immediately thought it to be in very bad taste, independently of the context of the conversation they were having. We were sitting around a white plastic table in the villa. I don’t know if anyone else saw the gesture, apart from my wife Katherine”.
5. One of the suspects in the case, Robert Murat, was accused by two witnesses of having paedophile tendencies
A couple of days after Robert Murat was taken in for questioning by the Portuguese Police and formally declared a suspect, Dr Gerald McCann was asked: “Did you already know Robert Murat?” Dr McCann brushed the question aside impatiently and said: “I am not going to comment on that”. That led many to consider that the two men did previously know each other. It is a very reasonable inference to draw from his evasive comment.
Two witnesses claimed that Robert Murat had paedophile tendencies. One of them, who knew Murat well, made a detailed statement with some very graphic comments about Murat’s sexual preferences. The links for these statements are given on our website in a lengthy feature article about Robert Murat. The Portuguese Police discovered encrypted material on Murat’s computer after they seized it. Encryption is often used by those who view, download or exchange child pornography. Murat said he had ‘no idea’ why there was encrypted material on his computer.
6. Murat’s friend Sergei Malinka was also said to have child
pornography on his computer
A witness told Portuguese Police that Sergei Malinka, a friend of Murat who had worked on Murat’s website, also had an interest in child pornography and had child pornography on his computer. But the police found he had wiped all the data on his hard drive before the police examined it.
7. Jim Gamble, the Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), used the Madeleine McCann disappearance to highlight the danger of paedophiles
Despite the high degree of uncertainty about what really happened to Madeleine, highlighted by their own spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, saying in March 2010 that her disappearance was ‘a complete mystery’, Jim Gamble, head of CEOP, relentlessly associated Madeleine with CEOP. This was despite the obvious fact that the McCanns on their own admission had left three young children, all aged under four, in a vulnerable situation - for six nights in a row - and clearly failed to protect them. Many questioned why an organisation with the words ‘Child Protection’ in its title should feature the McCanns so heavily, given their failure of child protection.
Gamble, from 2007 onwards, heavily featured Madeleine on the CEOP website and in various CEOP publications. Around the time of the second anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance (17 months previous to the date of this article , he appeared together with the McCanns in a so-called one-minute ‘viral video’, strongly emphasising that Madeleine was still alive and needed to be found.
Later he also appeared on morning news shows side by side with the McCanns.
Still more significantly, he invited Dr Gerald McCann in January 2010 to be the keynote speaker at a conference on the abduction of children by paedophiles. Why Dr McCann was considered by Gamble to be qualified to contribute to that conference, never mind being the ‘keynote speaker’, given the raft of uncertainties about the circumstances in which Madeleine disappeared, has never been explained either by the McCanns or by Jim Gamble.
Furthermore, it was reported - and confirmed by a Home Office Freedom of Information Act request - that in October 2009, the McCanns had a private interview with the McCanns. Following that, several press reports (not denied) indicated that the Home Secretary asked Jim Gamble to recommend a new British police force to carry out a review and possibly a re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.
Some reports suggested that he had recommended West Yorkshire Police to carry out such a review. But the Home Office was unwilling to confirm or deny this. It was baffling why the Home Secretary, knowing Jim Gamble’s extreme closeness to the McCanns, should choose him to recommend who should carry out any review into Madeleine’s disappearance.
8. In the days before this article was written, Jim Gamble told the Home Secretary, Theresa May, that he was resigning from his post as CEOP Chief Executive, a resignation she swiftly accepted. The McCanns put out statements strongly supporting him, thanking him for his work on their behalf, and querying the Coalition government’s decision to incorporate CEOP within the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). They described his departure in graphic terms as ‘a huge loss to child protection’. These comments pointed inexorably, once again, to the conclusion that there was a very close ‘tie’ between the McCanns and Jim Gamble.
The McCann Team in conjunction with Jim Gamble of CEOP published a video about Madeleine and circulated it round the internet which many believed showed her inappropriately posed in heavy make-up
In 2010, Jim Gamble once again co-operated with the McCanns to make a another video about Madeleine. The video in question featured three images of Madeleine. One very striking one shows her in an unusual pose, shot by the photographer from well below her face, wearing make-up, including much blue eyeshadow, lipstick and jewellery, and looking unhappy.
The McCanns publicly claimed that ‘the photo shows her when she was three after a raid on the dressing box’. However, it is very unlikely that Madeleine could have put the necklace on herself, nor applied eyeshadow in the manner shown in the photograph, nor applied the pink bow to her hair.
The evidence from the photograph suggests that an adult made her up and of course an adult was on hand to take that particular image of her. The McCanns did not say who took the photograph. Even if Madeleine had ‘raided the dressing box’, as claimed, it is one thing to take a photo of something like that for your family photo album, but altogether another matter to release it for millions to see.
The McCanns explicitly approved the very public release of this video and the images on it. As one newspaper reported: “Parents of Madeleine McCann, who went missing three years ago, have released a new video and photo of their missing daughter to mark the third anniversary of the girl's disappearance”. The photo the McCanns specifically chose to highlight in the video was the one with Madeleine wearing heavy make-up, apparently applied by an adult and not by herself.
There was strong adverse reaction by many members of the public to this image being used in connection with a missing child. Not least was the opinion of Mr Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police detective and now leading criminologist and child protection expert, who has often in the past spoken with strong sympathy and understanding for the McCanns. His unambiguous reaction to this particular photograph, promoted on his ‘Twitter’ blog, was that it was ‘so inappropriate’ and ‘so damaging’. We agree with him.
The McCanns have from the day Madeleine was reported missing claimed explicitly and on many occasions that Madeleine must have been abducted by a paedophile, or paedophiles, often described by them as ‘predatory’, ‘evil’, or ‘ monsters’. Yet the photo of Madeleine featured by her parents shows a child looking much older than her actual three years, due to the make-up and jewellery, as all the news media quickly picked up the following day.
The McCanns said a number of times that they were advised by the police ‘not to show any emotion’ in front of the cameras. One newspaper reported, around the time the McCanns appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show: “The couple also admitted they had been advised not to show any emotion while in front of the media, because any potential abductor ‘may get a kick out of it’.” It was all the more surprising, therefore, that the McCanns should use this short video to project and promote an image of Madeleine which might well appeal to certain paedophiles, some of whom are unfortunately attracted to young children.
One person commented on ‘Twitter’ about the direct promotion of this video by CEOP Chief Executive Jim Gamble, writing: “If CEOP endorse this type of public relations for a supposed missing child, then their role in child protection has to be questioned!”
9. The McCann Team have highlighted the possible involvement of a named paedophile, Raymond Hewlett, in the disappearance of Madeleine
First they suggested that Hewlett was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance; latterly they have claimed that he gave an account of his knowledge of Madeleine’s disappearance in a letter he dictated to hospital staff in the weeks before he died. The claims made about this letter are highly improbable and we suggest that they are a complete fabrication. They have however been deliberately promoted by the McCann Team for 18 months.
10. The connection between Ray Wyre, paedophile ‘expert’ and the McCanns
We’ve highlighted the connection between the late Ray Wyre and the McCanns in another article on our website, titled ‘Ray Wyre and the McCanns: What was the connection between the McCanns and the late paedophilia ‘expert’, Ray Wyre?
There are at least four questions we would ask about this connection:
- Why was Wyre so keen, in two articles published four and seven days after Madeleine was reported missing, to insist so adamantly that she had been abducted?
- Why, in addition, did he emphasise the possibility that she had been snatched by a paedophile?
- Why did the McCanns agree to meet the Wyres at the their Buckinghamshire home?
- Was that meeting really much more about producing a helpful Sunday newspaper article than, as was claimed, about starting a new organisation for missing children?
Article filed by Tony Bennett, Secretary, The Madeleine Foundation
10 October 2010