Matthews jailed for eight years
SHANNON Matthews’ kidnap ordeal at the hands of her evil mum has left
her haunted by chilling nightmares.
As Karen Matthews was jailed for
eight years, it was revealed her daughter is being terrorised by
flashbacks of her 24 days in captivity
Shannon, nine, has been left so
traumatised she faces years of psychotherapy to wake her from a
real-life nightmare triggered by her mum’s sick scam to make her the
Matthews, 33, was sent down for staging Shannon’s kidnapping to try to
pocket £50,000 reward cash.
Her boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan, 40, who she recruited to snatch
Shannon, was also caged for eight years.
The delivery driver kept the youngster holed up in his flat drugged and
bound on an elastic noose strapped to a ceiling beam.
Matthews ordered him to hold her prisoner until the reward money built
up, then release her, pretend to find her, and claim the cash, which
they would split.
She hatched the plot after seeing how the public had donated £1million
to the hunt for Madeleine McCann.
But detectives swooped on his flat
just a mile from Shannon’s home and found her hidden in the base of his
double divan bed.
Sentencing Matthews and Donovan
yesterday, Mr Justice McCombe branded their scam “truly despicable”.
But he told Leeds Crown Court he thought
they were both too thick to have dreamed it up themselves and other
culprits may still be at large
He told them: “It is impossible to
conceive how you could have found it in you to put this young girl
through the ordeal that you inflicted upon her.
“It is incomprehensible that you could
have permitted your friends, neighbours and, in your case Matthews, even
your children to sacrifice time and energy in extensive searches.
It is also incomprehensible you could
stand by and watch enormous police resources being wasted in a
saying that, having a regard to their low intellect, it must be doubtful
whether they could have conceived or continued these offences without
the assistance or connivance of others.”
The pair, of Dewsbury, West Yorks, who
were each convicted of kidnap, false imprisonment, and perverting the
course of justice, showed no emotion as they were sentenced. Both are
likely to be released on licence in three years.
The judge revealed Shannon had been left
“disturbed, traumatised and frightened”.
A welfare report compiled since she was
freed said: “She appeared to relive her experiences and she often
complains of having nightmares where she is being tied up.
Shannon will need periods of psychotherapy followed by
individually-based therapeutic interventions to help her recover from
Supt Andy Brennan said no-one else faced prosecution.