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Villagers Join McCanns In Wait For News

Original Source: SKY: 11 SEPTEMBER 2007
By Ursula Errington Rothley, Leicestershire
Updated: 12:37, Tuesday September 11, 2007
With Portuguese prosecutors now poring over the files on the McCann case it is a tense wait in the family's Leicestershire village to see what decision will be made.

The McCanns are riding it out at home and as far as we know they haven't ventured out since their return to the UK from Portugal on Sunday.

But the pressure on them is growing with police sources saying that forensic tests on material from the boot of McCanns' hire care indicate Madeleine's presence.

Also the Portuguese police and press seem to be painting a picture of Kate McCann as violent and aggressive towards her children at times.

And the Portuguese media suggest the inquiry is concentrating on whether sedatives were used on the four year old.

Now the McCanns are home, leaks from the Portuguese police seem to have increased in frequency and importance.

There are many more questions than answers in a case that has bound a community in Portugal with the village of Rothley in Leicestershire in a mutual stance of support.

In their home town the local newspaper's front page declares that the village has given its backing to the McCanns, although many villagers are now reluctant to talk to the lingering press pack some have echoed that view.

One woman who had just dropped off her grandchild at school said she found the Portuguese media view of Kate McCann distasteful.

"You are not guilty until you are found guilty. You have got to keep an open mind," she said.

Others going about their business in the village are simply confused.

As he waits for a bus, Donald says he believes all the twists and turns in this story are due to Portuguese officials covering up. "I think there has been a lot of poor investigation, " he says.

"And now the Portuguese authorities are trying to get out of that situation. It seems now the main point has nothing to do with Madeleine anymore. It's all about smearing her parents who are professional people.

Others are not so unwavering in their support.

Baffled by the complexity of the case, one early morning shopper in Rothley who didn't want to be named said: "It's all a bit mysterious - it doesn't seem to add up.

"A lot of people are saying the same thing but the pieces of the jigsaw don't seem to fit. We are a bit confused really."

The portrayal of the McCanns in newspapers 1,000 miles away appears to be creating a split camp in the village on their doorstep.

But all of them are united in wanting to know what has happened to Madeleine so they can move on.


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