McCann family reverse story over break-in 'evidence' Irish IndependentBy Shane Hickey
Thursday October 25 2007
THE spokesman for
the family of Madeleine McCann has reversed a statement made in the early days of the search for the missing child.
Speaking to RTE's 'Prime Time', Clarence Mitchell said she could "easily" have been kidnapped by an
abductor who did not leave the trail of a break-in.
However, in the early part of the hunt, friends and family
members told journalists that the shutter on the apartment where the McCanns were staying had been broken.
made his comments when questioned by a 'Prime Time' team in a report on the disappearance to be screened tomorrow.
"There was no evidence of a break-in," said Mr Mitchell.
"I'm not going into the detail, but
I can say that Kate and Gerry are firmly of the view that somebody got into the apartment and took Madeleine out the window
as their means of escape, and to do that they did not necessarily have to tamper with anything. They got out of the window
Of the criticism that the McCanns left their children by themselves on four evenings while
they went for dinner, Mr Mitchell said there was a cultural difference between Britain and Portugal.
a British approach to get your children washed, bathed and in bed early in the evening if you can so you can have something
of the evening to yourself. That is the British way of doing things. It doesn't mean it's wrong. It doesn't mean
it's right," he said.
"Nobody feels more guilty than Gerry and Kate over the decision they took jointly
to leave their children in that position that night. And they will never forgive themselves. They've said this often.
"Nobody feels more guilty than they that Madeleine was alone when she was taken. However, they felt they had
a perfectly proper system of checking (her in place)."
- Shane Hickey
Note: On Martin Brunt's documentary 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann, aired on 24 December 2007, Prof
David Barclay, one of Britain's top forensic consultants said: "I think it's impossible for somebody to get
in and out, through that window without leaving a forensic trace. Apart from anything else, the window sills in that
area are covered in green lichen. The minute you try and scrape over the window sills you would have left marks
and we know that the scenes of crime lady, the next morning, was looking for exactly that."
Clarence Mitchell's statement about the McCanns reversal of their 'break in' story, came one week after Dispatches
aired the documentary 'Searching For Madeleine', on 18 October 2007. That documentary effectively proved that it
was impossible for anybody to break into the apartment and leave no forensic trace or damage to the lightweight
aluminium shutters; which are covered with a fine coating of polyurethane paint which marks extremely easily.
They also tested the thumb prints, that showed up under the red dust of the forensic fingerprint powder, and proved the
prints came from somebody moving the shutter from inside
Again, Prof Dave Barclay said:
"We must be very careful that we're not saying this is actually staging but it's difficult to see how anybody
could have interefered with those shutters, from outside, without leaving some trace. In fact, having looked at
them, I think it's almost impossible."