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Kate McCann: 'I thought a paedophile had taken my Madeleine'

Original Source: MAIL: THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2007
Last updated at 22:40pm on 13th September 2007
Kate McCann's first thought after Madeleine's disappearance was that her little daughter had been snatched by a paedophile.

"We thought that a paedophile had taken her and he had done terrible things," she said. "That's very hard. But, little by little, we thought of other scenarios, which aren't as atrocious."

In a wide-ranging interview with France's Paris Match magazine published yesterday, Mr and Mrs McCann revealed how they nearly lost their twins during a difficult pregnancy.

They spoke for the first time about how they met and how their work as doctors was similar to the work being carried out by detectives.

Denying all claims of being involved in the little girl's disappearance, Mrs McCann referred to their ill-fated meal in a tapas bar close to their apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3.

"Of course we feel guilty at being at the restaurant when she disappeared," she said. "That will always be so, but the person who broke in and took Madeleine is the most guilty."

Referring to Madeleine and twins Sean and Amelie, she went on: "If we had had to ask "Are they safe?", we would never have left. We never thought that there was a risk.

"We thought we were being reliable and responsible. I did not think at all about a burglar.

"One never expects that someone will come among you and take your child in his bed. The only reason that we went backwards and forwards was in case they woke up."

Asked how the twins were coping with their sister's disappearance, Mr McCann said: "Sometimes they say, "We love Madeleine" and we reply, "We love Madeleine"."

Mrs McCann said: "The pregnancy of our twins was also very complicated."

Her husband explained: 'That seems insignificant today, but I'm sure that helps us now, and makes us stronger.

"Once, we thought we were going to suddenly lose the twins, it was hard. You are able to find strength in all that."

The couple say they have sought some solace from the case of Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian teenager who was abducted at the age of ten in 1998, and remained in the custody of her kidnapper for eight years, but was discovered alive last year.

Mr McCann said: "Look at Natascha Kampusch who was found in Austria after eight years. Today we think that if Maddie was taken or killed quickly, there ought to be evidence."

He even likened the hunt for evidence by detectives to his work as a doctor, saying: "The police have to look at it all objectively. To look at what proof is there to support whichever scenario. It's the same thing in medicine."

Mrs McCann said she and Gerry met in Glasgow during their studies and later worked in the same hospital before travelling in New Zealand. They married in 1998.

Recalling Madeleine's birth in 2003, Mr McCann said: "It's incredibly special, the birth of Madeleine, because we had been waiting for a long time. Others thought that we were getting old and that we might end up not having our own children."

His wife said: "We've always had a close relationship. If we get through this ordeal, then I think that we can get through anything."

The interview took place in Portugal on September 4, just days before the couple were formally placed under investigation by the Portuguese authorities and before they returned to England.



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