The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews

The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews documentary divides viewers for ‘dragging up past’

The nine-year-old went missing back in 2008

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The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews documentary divided viewers last night (February 10), as some accused Channel 5 of “dragging up the past”.

The two-part series follows the story of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, who was kidnapped by members of her own family in 2008.

At the time, the investigation gripped the nation.

Shannon Matthews BBC News
The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews divided Channel 5 viewers (Credit: BBC One/YouTube)

However, a number of viewers believe the story should be left firmly in the past.

On Twitter, they criticised Channel 5 for “dragging up” the little girl’s disappearance once again.

The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews: What did viewers say?

One said: “Why is this even being made? The poor girl has enough trauma, she doesn’t need it all dragged up again after 13 years #ShannonMatthews.”

A second wrote: “Disappointing that @channel5 are sensationalising the #ShannonMatthews story. Poor Shannon continues to be victimised 13 years on.”

DC Nick townsend on the left, and DC Paul Kettlewell on the right - both retired police officers who worked on the case
DC Nick Townsend (left), and DC Paul Kettlewell both appeared in the documentary (Credit: Channel 5)

In addition, a third shared: “Everyone is tweeting about Shannon Matthews and it’s heartbreaking.

“Yes, it’s a story people will keep bringing up but you’re constantly pulling at the girl’s wounds and those of her siblings whose lives were also torn apart. For their sakes should this not be left alone??”

Read more: Where is Shannon Matthews now? Why she will never speak out publicly

Meanwhile, others couldn’t help but sympathise for Shannon and her siblings.

‘I wish them all well’

Following the case, the High Court granted Shannon lifelong anonymity.

Her siblings also received anonymity for life due to a court order banning their identities from ever being revealed.

Poor Shannon continues to be victimised 13 years on.

One wrote on Twitter: “I often wonder how Shannon and her siblings are coping now… wherever they are, I wish them all well. So sad.”

Furthermore, a second said: “Reminder that Shannon and her siblings are completely innocent. I hope and pray that they are happy and safe now.”

Karen Matthews has no contact with her children (Credit: Channel 5)

Another added: “I hope her kids are in a safe and better place and living fulfilling lives, and not disturbed by their abhorrent childhood!”

A third tweeted: “Vile people. Hope Shannon and her siblings are doing well and have had the therapy & support.”

Channel 5 said it “won’t be commenting on this” when approached by ED!

Where is Karen Matthews?

Meanwhile, Karen had plotted with Michael Donovan to kidnap her daughter Shannon, and dupe the nation.

Luckily, police found Shannon alive and well on March 14 2008 after 24 days.

The pair had drugged Shannon with sedatives and hid her in the base of a divan bed at Michael’s house.

They were sentenced to eight years imprisonment following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Read more: What was the connection between Karen Matthews and Kate McCann?

However, they walked free in 2012, having served half their sentences.

Since then, Karen has had no contact with her daughter Shannon, or any of her other six children.

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