for missing Madeleine McCann discovered a syringe in her
parents’ bedroom, it was dramatically claimed last night
In the latest slur against
Kate and Gerry McCann, the hypodermic needle was allegedly
found in a cupboard at the apartment where their daughter
According to reports in the Portuguese press, police are
examining the theory that the needle could have been used by
Madeleine's parents -both doctors - to administer sedatives
to their children to help them sleep.
Hurtful and unfounded rumours in the Portuguese media claim
that detectives are convinced the couple accidentally killed
four-year-old Madeleine by giving her an overdose of
Last night a spokeswoman for the couple angrily denied the
latest slurs and insisted that the McCanns had never sedated
She said: "I can categorically say the McCanns did not have
syringes or sedatives with them on holiday. They do not use
sedatives on their children. This story is absolute
nonsense, it is totally untrue".
The allegations are the latest in a long line of vicious
attacks the McCanns have been forced to endure while
desperately waiting for news of their daughter.
But there has been a significant shift in the tone of the
attacks in recent days, with a number of Portuguese papers
now accusing the McCanns outright of killing their daughter.
The respected Correio da Manha paper wrote yesterday:
kept a tranquiliser kit in the cupboard of the Ocean Club
The paper went on to claim that weight was being given to
the theory of an accidental overdose because the McCanns
other children, two-year-old twins
Sean and Amelie, had not woken up on the night Madeleine
vanished 119 days ago, despite the noise and confusion
The paper also quoted Gerry McCann insisting that the twins
were very sound sleepers and tired after an exhausting day
playing in the pool.
The allegations were attributed to a source close to the
investigation, but Portuguese police last night refused to
The police, who are not allowed to speak about the
investigation because of Portugal's strict secrecy laws,
have always maintained that the McCanns are not and never
have been suspects.
The allegations also clash with evidence provided by British
ex-pat Pamela Fenn, who lives in the apartment above the one
from which Madeleine disappeared.
Mrs Fenn, 81, told the police that two nights before the
incident she heard a little girl loudly crying, "Daddy,
daddy" in the apartment.
She said the crying had lasted for some time, but stopped
when the McCanns returned to the apartment after dinner.
This would suggest the children were not being regularly
sedated and were, in fact, wide awake after being put to
Gerry and Kate, both 39, have always borne the attacks with
dignity and good grace, but last week in an interview with
British journalists Gerry finally snapped and responded to
He said: "It is just so absurd, it is just not credible.
It's incredibly hurtful and incredibly untrue".
"Even if somebody could think that, there is absolutely no
evidence pointing in that direction."
Gerry also stormed out of a television interview after a
Spanish reporter questioned him about claims that blood had
been found in their apartment.
The outbursts are being seen as a sign of his growing
frustration with the lack of progress in the investigation
and his determination to protect his family from vindictive
Meanwhile, detectives continue to await the results of
forensic tests being carried out on a number of pieces of
evidence discovered in and around Praia da Luz.
It is believed that the DNA tests could provide a crucial
Portuguese police have a team of officers on stand-by ready
to move in on a suspect as soon as the tests are confirmed.
Mrs Fenn page 75
Then a lady appeared on a balcony – I’m
fairly certain this was about 11pm, before the police
arrived – and, in a plummy voice, inquired, ‘Can someone
tell me what all the noise is about?’ I explained as clearly
as I was able, given the state I was in, that my little girl
had been stolen from her bed, to which she casually
responded, ‘Oh, I see,’ almost as if she’d just been told
that a can of beans had fallen off a kitchen shelf. I
remember feeling both shocked and angry at this woefully
inadequate and apparently unconcerned reaction. I recollect
that in our outrage, Fiona and I shouted back something
rather short and to the point.