forensic psychologist Joe Sullivan
British experts on sex offenders arrived in Portugal
yesterday to help in the hunt for the kidnapper of missing
The forensic behavioural analysts from the Child
Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which combats
paedophiles, were sent in response to a request from the
Lisbon Government. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said
that their arrival would ensure a range of experts was
available to explore "every possible avenue" that may have
led to Madeleine's disappearance.
One of the two British experts is the forensic psychologist
Joe Sullivan. Mr Sullivan has helped police in Britain and
Europe to investigate child sex murder, abduction, organised
paedophile rings and underage internet pornography.
He formerly dealt with paedophile priests at the Lucy
Faithfull Foundation, a child protection charity that
strives to assess and treat abusers. He has published a
study into professionals who abuse children. Its conclusions
included the striking finding that one in seven paedophiles,
including priests, admits choosing vocations to enjoy easy
access to children.
Last night John Buck, the British Ambassador to Portugal,
confirmed that British experts had arrived in addition to
the three family liaison officers from Leicestershire
Mr Buck also defended the actions of the Portuguese police,
saying that they had to operate under the constraints of the
He added: "I have been in touch closely over the last few
days with the cabinet minister here in Portugal and the
Prime Minister and Portuguese police. They all assure me
that everything possible is being done to ensure the safe
return of Madeleine.
"We continue to work closely with the Portuguese
authorities. They are very pleased with the collaboration
with the British authorities.
"They are in close touch with Interpol and Europol and I
know Kate and Gerry, with whom I have just been speaking,
are very grateful for their efforts."
A British tourist claimed yesterday that two weeks ago she
saw a man trying to steal a pushchair at the resort where
Madeleine went missing.
Amanda Mills, 34, of Basildon, Essex, said that she reported
the incident to police last week after reading about the
girl's disappearance. "It was late at night," Mrs Mills
said. "This guy came along and put his hands on a pushchair
outside somebody's apartment. He didn’t even look to see if
there was a child in it."
Portuguese police have told British officers that they
believe the man who abducted Madeleine was a tourist from
Britain or an expatriate linked to a network of paedophiles
in the country.
Portugal is known to be a favoured destination for British
paedophiles and the discovery in the early 1990s of a group
of men who were abusing local boys helped to persuade the
Government to make it illegal for Britons to have sex with
underage children abroad.
Reports in Portugal have suggested that Madeleine, whose
fourth birthday is on Saturday, had been "abducted for
order". The Correio da Manha said: "One of the most
substantial possibilities that the Policia Judiciaria is
investigating is that this was paid for and commissioned by
a international paedophile, probably of British origin."
Specialist detectives from the sex abuse and homicide unit
in Lisbon were dispatched to the holiday region yesterday to
take charge of the investigation after growing criticism
that the police had been slow to react and had failed to
make progress in tracking the abductor.
Antonio Santana Carlos, the Portuguese Ambassador in London,
said that police were doing all they could but had to abide
by the country’s secrecy laws. He said: "They are doing
their best in cooperation with Europol and Interpol. For the
parents of Madeleine McCann, we respect their suffering but
unfortunately the investigation has to carry on in secrecy
as that is in accordance with our laws." He added: "They
have our understanding and we support them and we hope that
soon there will be an end to their suffering."
Detectives have now ruled out a kidnap for ransom. There is
nothing in the family history to suspect a revenge motive.
A source close to the police investigation told the 24
Horas newspaper: "Were it a kidnapping [for money] it
would not be rational for someone to take on an almost
4-year-old when they could take one of the infants. It could
be a kidnapping for sexual ends but one cannot exclude the
possibility of the child having walked out and got lost and
having fallen in a stream or a well."
Madeleine, from Rothley, near Leicester, disappeared when
she was left with her brother and sister, 2-year-old twins
Sean and Amelie, in a holiday flat. Her parents, Gerry and
Kate, both 38, had been dining in a nearby restaurant and
checking on them regularly.
Yesterday Mr McCann and his wife visited the Nossa Senhora
da Luz (Our Lady of Light) Roman Catholic church, where they
had taken Mass on Sunday, to pray privately for their
daughter's return. Mrs McCann, a GP, was again clutching the
Cuddle Cat that Madeleine took to bed.
Colleagues of the couple were offering prayers at Glenfield
Hospital, in Leicester. About 300 people met at the
hospital, where Mr McCann is a consultant cardiologist, at
Villagers in Rothley held a silent vigil yesterday in a show
of solidarity with the family. People were encouraged to
light a candle or to tie a red ribbon around railings at the
war memorial on the village green.
John Terry, the England and Chelsea footballer, with his
colleague Paulo Ferreira joined Cristiano Ronaldo, the
Portuguese international and Manchester United player, in
making an appeal.
Terry said: "We are urging anyone out there with any
information at all – please, please, please come forward.
It's a terrible thing for her family to go through, she's
only young so please, please come forward." Ferreira
repeated the appeal in Portuguese.
— The small soft toy that Madeleine McCann's mother, Kate,
has been seen clutching is a favourite of her daughter’s
— The stuffed pink kitten is called Cuddle Cat and Madeleine
hugs it when she goes to bed. She is also given the kitten
when she feels scared or upset
— Since her disappearance, the soft toy has been all the
more precious to her parents. On Sunday, before an emotional
church service, Mrs McCann knelt kissing the toy’s head