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McCanns 'Not Cracking Up' Under Strain

Original Source: SKY: 14 SEPTEMBER 2007
Updated: 17:05, Friday September 14, 2007

A friend of Gerry and Kate McCann has said the couple are not "cracking up" under the weight of allegations and public scrutiny over the disappearance of their daughter.

The friend's defence came on the day the McCanns left their Rothley home with their twins Sean and Amelie and a relative to meet their lawyers.

The friend, who works with Mr McCann at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, visited the consultant cardiologist and his wife, a GP, at their house in The Crescent earlier his week.

He said he spoke for all his colleagues: "We all feel that they are facing an added burden [with the police investigation] which is barely credible.

"It's very tough. I am concerned that the press attention is intensifying.

"It's a lot of stress but they are coping very well. They are not cracking up but they are under pressure."

The couple's new lawyers are Michael Caplan QC and Angus McBride, who work for London legal firm Kingsley Napley.

"Cleary the McCanns are bedding in for what they have to do to maintain their safety and to keep going, for the time being, the hunt for Madeleine," said Sky News Correspondent Andrew Wilson.

The meeting comes amid another slew of reports in the British and Continental media about the case.

French newspaper France Soir claimed traces of sedatives had been found in hairs said to have belonged to Madeleine, which were found in the boot of the family's hire car.

The car has been at the centre of the Portuguese police forensic investigation.

Portuguese officers reportedly found blood and other body fluids in the vehicle, which was hired by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine disappeared on May 3.

Madeleine's aunt said family members would be willing to sell their homes to pay any legal fees run up by the McCanns.

Mr McCann's sister, Philomena, told BBC Radio Scotland: "It's a possibility, yes.

"These things happen. Money and property is not as important as family and love, is it? Not to me anyway."

She also refused to discount reports that the couple are set to hire a new PR consultant, reported to be former News Of The World editor Phil Hall.


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