Loving ... Kate cuddles Maddie
in photo newly released by pals
A FRIEND of the McCanns who believes she saw
Madeleine being abducted has admitted being
wracked by guilt every day since.
an emotional interview Jane Tanner, a close
friend of Kate and Gerry and one of the Tapas
Nine, spoke of her 'horrible realisation I had
seen the abductor and done nothing'.
Jane says her 'heart went to her boots' and she
has been haunted by the moment ever since.
a riveting TV special Jane, 36, breaks the
silence she has kept for the six-and-a-half
months since Maddie, four, went missing from a
holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
And she reveals astonishing new detail about the
events before the horror ' and panic after.
Jane decided to speak out because of the
insinuations being made about her.
She said: 'I'm talking now because I'm being
called a liar and a fantasist. I know what I
saw, I know the truth.'
Touching ... Gerry holds Maddie
in pic released by friends yesterday
The mum of two from Exeter, along with her partner Dr Russell
O'Brien, Kate, Gerry and five other friends were
dining in the tapas bar of the holiday complex
when the horror began to slowly unfold.
All had taken it in turns to make checks on
Putting the events of the evening in context,
BBC1's Panorama next Monday reveals that when
Gerry made his last check at around 9.05pm his
children's bedroom door was open. He closed it.
Gerry later became convinced he had closed the
door when he and Kate left.
means the abductor may have been in the
apartment already when he made his final check.
Jane went to look in on her daughter around the
same time, and as she walked up the path to the
apartment saw Gerry talking to another
was at that moment that she spotted a man
carrying a child.
Jane said she did not realise it was Maddie
because she knew Gerry had just checked on her
and his twins and believed they must all be
tucked up safely in bed.
I'm telling truth ... Jane
breaks silence on TV
She only caught a quick glimpse of the man who
walked from left to right in front of her.
But she was able to describe the man as swarthy
with dark curly hair. She could not see the
child's face, only her bare feet dangling down
and pink and white pyjamas.
Jane told interviewers: 'I never in a million
years thought it could have been Madeleine.
'There is a creche nearby and I thought he might
be a father picking up his child from there.
only saw him for a few seconds. It was very
Last month the McCanns released a picture of the
man created by an artist using details provided
by their pal.
Jane then went to her apartment to see her
daughter who had been sickly for a few days and
had been vomiting that night. Jane returned to
the tapas bar at around 9.25pm.
She did not mention the man she had seen because
she did not realise the significance. Jane's
partner Russell then went to make a check at
Friend Mathew Oldfield went with him to look in
on his children and also offered to go to the
McCanns' apartment to check on Maddie and their
Until now it was thought that Mathew just
listened at the door, but in the programme it is
revealed he actually went in and looked into the
But from his vantage point he could only see the
twins, not Maddie who was behind the open door.
As all was silent he thought things were fine.
Mathew did not know that Gerry had found the
door open and closed it around 30 minutes
earlier. At the same time, Russell was
discovering his daughter had been sick and
called to Mathew to ask Jane to return.
Jane got back there around 9.50pm and Russell
returned to the tapas bar.
around 10pm Kate went to check. When she
arrived, she found the bedroom door still open.
Clue ... Jane's picture of fiend in
She stepped into the room and saw the window and
shutter were up and Madeleine was missing. Her
cuddle cat was on the bed along with the blanket
Maddie had been snuggled in.
source said: 'Kate ran round the apartment in
total panic checking every wardrobe, under the
beds, the bathroom, everywhere.
She then ran screaming to the tapas bar telling
her friends 'Madeleine's gone, Madeleine's gone,
someone's taken her!' All hell broke loose.
Chaos erupted, everyone got up and ran to the
As Jane heard the news, she realised the child
she had seen nearly an hour earlier being
carried off was almost certainly Madeleine.
When two cops arrived around 11.15pm Jane told
them. She did a more formal interview at around
3am. Gerry was present and it was the moment he
learnt Jane had seen an 'abductor'.
Until then she had not had the opportunity to
tell Kate and Gerry. They had been too busy
hunting their daughter.
Jane said she felt 'total guilt' when she
revealed what she had seen. Later she found out
Madeleine had been wearing pink and white
Jane said she thought: 'Oh my God, I saw him. It
was that man.'
She wished over and over again that she had seen
the girl's face ' and stopped the man.
Jane vehemently denied that any of the Tapas
Nine lied. She said: 'All of us have told the
truth. There is no cover up, or lying.'
Kate and Gerry, both 39 of Rothley, Leics, could
not do the TV interview themselves as they are
official suspects. Their spokesman Clarence
Mitchell said they were grateful to Jane.
said: 'She felt very strongly that it was
important she speak out on behalf of Kate and
Gerry. They can't.'
The Panorama programme also features a poignant
video diary of the McCanns' search for Madeleine
' shot in Portugal and Spain by a friend of the couple.