Clarence Mitchell became the McCanns' spokesman after the
disappearance of Madeleine
The spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann says he
will contact the police because he believes someone attempted to access
information about his mobile phone account and voicemail.
Clarence Mitchell became the family's point of contact
for the media after three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from the
holiday apartment where her family was staying in Portugal in May 2007.
Journalists from dozens of news organisations around the
world regarded him as a key to potential new angles.
Mr Mitchell asked his mobile phone provider, Vodafone, to
check his account details after years of allegations about how some
journalists got their stories.
"I was always concerned that if some journalists were up
to this sort of thing that I might be a target but I had no proof," he
Mr Mitchell was told that records of calls made and
received are routinely destroyed after about a year.
This was a
shocked by it
but I'm not
However, he was provided with some information including
details of calls made to Vodafone about his account.
Two instances were drawn to his attention, the first one
on 29 February 2008.
Mr Mitchell said: "The operator lists it, saying 'a
gentleman called wishing to check the phone', as he gets calls each
night from the number and wanting information and is a 'witness on the
CID trial for McCanns'.
"Well, that doesn't make sense. It certainly wasn't me
that made that call. I would never use that phraseology and there was no
such thing as a CID trial for the McCanns. It's ridiculous.
"That appears to me to be a blatant attempt to get
information about whose number it was and what was happening. Thankfully
the operator didn't give them anything."
Another call was made to Vodafone customer services in
Mr Mitchell said: "Basically it [the entry] claims the
person ringing - not me I stress - had received a text message, claiming
that a third party had been trying to access their voicemail but there
was nothing on the account showing that.
"Well, that's because it isn't true. I never got such a
text. Somebody else is again fishing for information here. The Vodafone
operator believed they were talking to me as the account holder, that's
why they listed it as customer."
Mr Mitchell says he knows "absolutely" that he did not
make either call.
On both occasions, he says, "thankfully" the phone
company's security measures worked and no information was divulged.
To his frustration, due to the lack of other information
now available, he says he cannot trace who might have done this.
"It is impossible to state with any accuracy who was
behind these calls. Given the situation that I was in at the time and
the amount of journalistic inquiry and traffic that I was receiving on
that number, it would be naive of me to think that it wasn't
journalistic in its nature.
"This was a cack-handed, pretty low level, amateurish
attempt. I'm angry, I'm shocked by it but I'm not surprised."
Mr Mitchell also said that Kate and Gerry McCann, of
Rothley, Leicestershire, had a "very dim view" of some sections of the
British press and therefore had a "world weariness" about the situation.
"They're angered by this and will be upset, but again,
like myself, in some respects not surprised that somebody could be so
stupid as to possibly