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You can minimse the risk in most cases though.

 

Obviously. And clearly the McCann's made an error of judgment in not minimising the risk enough on the night Madeleine became the victim of a terrible crime.

 

What I'm trying to say is that when there are people in this world who are so depraved that they would take a sleeping child from her bed, no amount of risk assessment will prevent the occasional evil act. If it is ingrained in someone's heart to abduct a child, then sooner or later they will act that out.

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Forget the Evil acts of others, that was just one of any number of things that could have happened because of the negligence of the parents.

 

If she hadn't been abducted and had hurt herself or one of the other children had hurt themselves then the parents would have been dragged over the coals and been accused of negligence without a second thought. The only reason they haven't is because she's been abducted and people are scared to say anything.

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It's a tough one though. To what extent do you minimise risk? My kids are 10, 8 and 7 and we are constantly having to adjust what we allow them to do. Safest for them would be to keep them in the house with the door locked, but i have a feeling that might be bad for them. I think Chris is well off the mark with what he sees as an appalling decision. As I said on the last thread on this subject, I wouldn't have made the decision to leave them asleep in the room, but can understand why they did it. I can understand questioning the decision, but the vitriol directed at them is wrong.

I'll give you another example, every year loads of kids of 15 and 16 are killed on mopeds in Sweden. I would not buy my kid a moped/motorbike as i think they are too dangerous, but I certainly wouldn't direct any hatred towards parents of someone who died on one.

 

It's impossible to equate a 15 year old on a bike with a 3 year old alone in a flat. They aren't like for like comparisons. A 15 year old is deemed to have psychological and physical competence to be able to ride a bike. A 3 year old child isn't deemed to have psychological and physical competence to care for oneself or one's siblings.

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It's impossible to equate a 15 year old on a bike with a 3 year old alone in a flat. They aren't like for like comparisons. A 15 year old is deemed to have psychological and physical competence to be able to ride a bike. A 3 year old child isn't deemed to have psychological and physical competence to care for oneself or one's siblings.

 

I don't think a 15 year old is competent to ride a motorbike though, which was my point. At what age can a child protect themself from abduction? My 10 year old daughter is often out alone but wouldn't be capable of stopping herself being dragged into a car by people who are stronger than her.

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I don't think a 15 year old is competent to ride a motorbike though, which was my point. At what age can a child protect themself from abduction? My 10 year old daughter is often out alone but wouldn't be capable of stopping herself being dragged into a car by people who are stronger than her.

 

It sure not 3 years old, is it?

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Madeleine and the missing hour: how often did the McCanns check on their children?

As the hunt for Madeleine hits 100 days, emotions run high

 

By SUE REID - More by this author » Last updated at 16:31pm on 11th August 2007

 

Comments Comments (48)

Sitting beside a swimming pool in the Algarve on that May evening Gerry and Kate McCann were enjoying themselves. The tapas bar of the Mark Warner holiday resort in Praia da Luz was buzzing with holidaymakers and it was quiz night.

 

The McCanns were favourites to win the contest organised by the resort's aerobics teacher Najova Chekaya. After all, the two doctors had brains on their side. Around their table were seven friends from England, three of them also doctors and one a top medical research fellow.

 

The group of nine were holidaying in Portugal and wanted to have a good time. As one of the doctors, Matthew Oldfield, was to recall: "We drank. So what! We were on holiday."=

 

But 50 yards away on the other side of the swimming pool, the group's children were sleeping alone. In the bedroom of one ground floor apartment was Madeleine, the McCanns' three-year-old daughter.

 

Her twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie, two, lay in cots either side of her. They had been tucked up at 7pm. Half an hour later the McCanns had joined their friends for dinner at the tapas bar.

 

What happened next has mystified the world.

 

At 10pm Kate McCann got up from the table to check on her children. She slipped in through the patio windows to find the twins safely asleep - and her daughter's bed empty.

 

In tears and calling out Madeleine's name, she ran back to her friends to tell them: "They've taken her, they've taken her."

 

Madeleine has not been seen in the 100 days since May 3. Last night Portuguese police said they were concentrating on what they call the "missing hour" before Mrs McCann found her daughter gone. They say it is possible that she was kidnapped after her father last checked her at 9.05pm and her mother's terrible discovery.

 

Meanwhile the campaign to keep the public aware of Madeleine's name goes on. It has involved her Roman Catholic parents visiting the Pope.

 

 

And, on the instructions of JK Rowling, posters of Madeleine were distributed at British bookshops as they opened for the sale of the new Harry Potter book.

 

This week the donations from the public to a Madeleine fund, financing the PR campaign and global search for the little girl from Rothley in Leicestershire, was nudging £1 million.

 

More than 50 million people visited the Find Madeleine website in the 48 hours after its launch.

 

Nothing like this has ever been seen before, and probably never will again.

 

The campaign has been organised by the McCanns, both 38. Today they believe their daughter is still alive and was abducted by a stranger. Whether the motive was paedophilia, the sale of Madeleine for adoption or even the trade of her organs, they have no idea. Nor do they speculate.

 

As Mr McCann wrote on his website the other day: "The Portuguese police have assured us on numerous occasions that they are looking for Madeleine and not a corpse."

 

Yet this week attitudes towards the McCanns underwent a seismic shift, the questions growing more aggressive by the day. The scenario of a small girl being kidnapped without warning on a spring holiday in a family friendly resort is now the subject of lurid debate - particularly in Portugal.

 

Disturbing questions are being asked about the behaviour of the McCanns and their friends.

 

The catalyst was the discovery this week, by British police with sniffer dogs, of specks of blood on a wall in the family's apartment.

 

The blood is now being analysed in this country, raising unpalatable speculation that Madeleine was killed where she slept and was then carried off to the beach or bundled into a car boot.

The reluctance of Gerry and Kate McCann or their friends to speak publicly, or in any detail, about the minutiae of the evening has fuelled the controversy, although they insist it is illegal in Portugal to comment on any police investigation.

 

In another uncomfortable development the Portuguese press, including the respected newspaper Dairio de Noticias, has claimed that interviews given by the McCann group to police contain discrepancies. Their stories and the timings of their movements on the night do not tally.

 

Furthermore, emails and phone messages sent between the group - and intercepted by the PolÌcia Judiciaria and British detectives helping the inquiry - are reported to contain conversations that contradict earlier statements.

 

But the spotlight is equally falling on the seemingly woeful response of the Policia Judiciaria. They only arrived two hours after the alarm was raised. A British expert on child abduction who visited the resort a few days later said it the worst preserved crime scene he had ever witnessed.

 

Twenty people - including resort workers and other holidaymakers - are believed to have entered the McCanns' apartment after the disappearance. The patio windows at the rear, and the closest point to the tapas bar, were touched by searchers.

 

The patio had been left open by the McCanns in case of fire and, it appears, so that they could easily check the children.

 

But what of Madeleine's bedroom? It was situated next to the apartment's front door which is around the corner and a further 30 yards on, next to a road into the resort and a busy carpark.

 

Notably the bedroom, completely out of the sight of the tapas bar, had heavy, metal window shutters. These were also contaminated in the search.

 

Even her bedtime toy Cuddle Cat - which is now carried by Mrs McCann - was not isolated for forensic analysis.

 

Local newspapers and television have criticised the McCann group, who left their children alone for two and a half hours as they wined and dined.

 

One question being asked is why didn't the parents put their children in the evening creche which is open until 11.30pm? Why didn't they hire a babysitter, bookable at the Mark Warner reception desk?

 

In a further twist, locals now claim that Madeleine did not always settle well. One evening they allege she ran away into the paths between the apartments, hiding for half an hour when it was time for bed.

 

Whatever the truth, to begin to unravel the mystery one has to go back to the seemingly carefree days at the start of the holiday.

 

Gerry and Kate McCann and their friends are like-minded people, with children of similar ages. And they knew each other in the Midlands. Mr McCann is a consultant cardiologist at a Leicester's Glenfield Hospital and his wife is a GP.

 

Until recently Dr Oldfield worked at Leicester general hospital. David Payne is a senior research fellow in cardiovascular sciences at Leicester University and his wife, Fiona, is a doctor. Another of the holidaymakers, Dr Russell O'Brien, also worked at Leicester University before moving this summer.

 

Recently they all went to Mark Warner's in Greece where they had devised a plan of leaving their children to sleep while they had dinner nearby.

 

As Mr McCann explained: "The distance is so small, it was so close it was almost like having dinner in your garden. What we were doing was rigorous with multiple people checking at regular intervals."

 

When asked if Madeleine might have wandered out through the unlocked patio windows towards the swimming pool, or beyond to the beach, the McCanns dismiss it out of hand.

 

"We're absolutely certain. We double and treble-checked and have no doubt she was taken," said Mr McCann. Yet another scenario is now emerging in the local press. It is built on the recollections of other guests and workers at the resort.

 

The official story from the McCanns is this. Mr McCann said he checked on his three children at 9.05pm. He noticed that a door in the apartment which had been left shut was ajar.

 

He thought nothing of it but it may have indicated that a kidnapper was already there. But his daughter was fast asleep so he went back to the tapas bar.

 

Another of the group, Jane Tanner, says she took her turn 10 minutes later. She claimed later to police that she saw a dark-haired man of about 35 carrying a child as she walked back to the bar afterwards but thought nothing of it.

 

Soon after her return - at 9.45pm - Dr Oldfield did his round of the bedrooms. In a first statement to police, it is unclear if he actually went inside the McCann flat.

 

Indeed, one scenario is that many of the checks of the children were not visible, but involved listening at doors or even from outside the apartments.

 

However, in a second statement Dr Oldfield insists he did look in Madeleine's bedroom, believes he saw her there, and that there was light coming in through the windows as though the heavy shutters had been opened.

 

Again, he thought little of it until afterwards. Then, of course, it was Mrs McCann's turn. She found Madeleine gone.

 

Madeleine's aunt Trish Cameron recalled that she received a call later that night from her younger brother, Mr McCann, who told her: "I went back to check the children at nine o'clock. They were all sound asleep, windows shut, shutters shut."

 

Mrs Cameron related that when Mrs McCann went to the two apartment a little under an hour later: "The shutters had been jemmied open. They think someone must have come in the window and gone out of the front door with Madeleine."

 

But what is now perturbing Portuguese police is how could she be abducted when the McCann group were checking so often? Or have reports inadvertently exaggerated how vigilant the parents really were?

 

A worker at the tapas bar says that only a tall man, believed to be Russell O'Brien, got up from the table during the entire evening. Of course, this witness might be wrong. A busy barman could not have eyes on the McCann party for two and a half hours.

 

And what of Najova Chekaya, the aerobics teacher running the quiz? She was invited over to the McCann table by Mr McCann himself when the game ended at 9.30. She stayed for half an hour. She later claimed to friends that nobody left the table.

 

There is another conundrum too. It concerns the sighting by Jane Tanner of the man carrying a child. He was wearing beige trousers and smart black shoes. Her report is taken seriously by police.

 

Yet a British holidaymaker, Jeremy Wilkins, has given a deposition that does not support her evidence. He knew Mr McCann because he played tennis with him, and was walking his eight-month-old son in the night air when the drama unfolded.

 

He says that he met Mr McCann, who had come out of his apartment at 9.05pm, and had a word with him. Soon after that Jane Tanner would have crossed paths with Mr Wilkins and his baby.

 

Mr Wilkins says he saw no man carrying a child or Jane Tanner herself. "It was a very narrow path and I think it would have been almost impossible for anyone to walk by without me noticing," he said.

 

So today the questions remain. Was Madeleine kidnapped or killed? Or unwatched, did she simply walk out and get lost? How could there be a break in with a jemmy through metal shutters without waking the twins or alerting a passerby?

 

Someone, somewhere must know the answers.

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I've read this whole thread and I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned the guilt of the person who illegally abducted poor Madeleine. Were it not for such a depraved individual we would never have heard of the McCann family.

 

Apart from the neglect of the parents, we have no evidence that a crime has even been committed here. Who is to say she didn't just wander off by herself and fall down an abandoned well or something?

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I think Kate McCann looks worth a squirt in some pictures.

 

Not that I think she'd be up for it, what with all this going on, but anyway.

 

And you called me a cunt? Jesus, where's your compassion, you heartless heartless person...She's lost a precious, precious daughter and you're thinking of adding adultery to her list of crimes against her family. You coldblooded indiviual... where's your compassion etc etc etc...

 

In other words, mind your stupid own mouth before slaughtering mine.

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And you called me a cunt? Jesus, where's your compassion, you heartless heartless person...She's lost a precious, precious daughter and you're thinking of adding adultery to her list of crimes against her family. You coldblooded indiviual... where's your compassion etc etc etc...

 

In other words, mind your stupid own mouth before slaughtering mine.

 

 

Well, in retrospect my response to you was a bit po-faced and OTT, and I thought I would inject some levity.

 

Mixed results, admittedly.

 

In any case, it's a COMPLIMENT, I'm sure she'd prefer that to "Jesus, you look haggard".

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Well, in retrospect my response to you was a bit po-faced and OTT, and I thought I would inject some levity.

 

Mixed results, admittedly.

 

In any case, it's a COMPLIMENT, I'm sure she'd prefer that to "Jesus, you look haggard".

 

I didn't hear you apologising for calling me all those nasty names?

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Is there anyone in the country who still actually feels any sympathy for these negligent snobby twats? I mean I'm sorry that their irresponsible, terrible parenting has resulted in the loss/possible murder of their little girl, but they have no-one to blame but themselves.

 

I'm sick of seeing them on television and in the newspapers. I'm sick of people campaigning for money so these rich negligent cunts can continue scouring Europe to ease their considerable guilt. I'm sick of that tart carrying around that fucking teddy bear everywhere she goes to try and garner sympathy when she should be in a jail cell.

 

It's about time the police charged these people with criminal negligence, and if the poor little lass is found dead are their grounds to charge them with her manslaughter? It's been said before that if two parents from a council estate in Kenny had gone to the pub for a pint and this had happened you just know that social services and the CPS would have come down on them like a shot. The elite protecting the elite and it makes me sick.

 

If she is alive, I would suspect she's being better looked after by more loving, attentive people than her birth parents anyway, so fuck 'em. The poor girl probably doesn't know any different anyway; she probably hardly knew her parents anyway.

 

And you expect nay demand sympathy when some doped up steroid twat dies (or killls his own wife and family) ? Fuck me Chris, get a grip.

 

When, (if) you ever have kids then I think you may regret that bollox.

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Sympathy for what happened, but their negligence was unbelievable. Why take kids on holiday if you're going to leave them alone in the room?

 

I'm sure they'll make a lot of money with the book deal though.

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Sympathy for what happened, but their negligence was unbelievable. Why take kids on holiday if you're going to leave them alone in the room?

 

I'm sure they'll make a lot of money with the book deal though.

 

 

You got that right, nailed on.

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Apart from the neglect of the parents, we have no evidence that a crime has even been committed here. Who is to say she didn't just wander off by herself and fall down an abandoned well or something?

 

Fair enough.

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Every bit of my sympathy is with the little girl. I couldn't care less about the parents because they are a fucking disgrace, and what they did was negligent beyond fucking belief. Selfish cunts put themselves before their little babies, and look what happened.

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One question being asked is why didn't the parents put their children in the evening creche which is open until 11.30pm? Why didn't they hire a babysitter, bookable at the Mark Warner reception desk?

 

 

Wouldn't be surprised if they didn't trust leaving their kids with a stranger which is horribly ironic given what has happened.

 

All getting a bit Jon Benet Ramsey this though.

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Wouldn't be surprised if they didn't trust leaving their kids with a stranger which is horribly ironic given what has happened.

 

All getting a bit Jon Benet Ramsey this though.

 

The same thing crossed my mind.

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