What was the connection between Karen Matthews and Kate McCann?

A Channel 5 documentary is bringing new attention to the kidnap of Shannon

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New channel 5 documentary The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews is shining new light on the bizarre case and the apparent fixation Karen had on Kate McCann.

Karen Matthews infamously staged the disappearance of her daughter, nine-year old Shannon, in 2008.

However, she claims to this day to have not had a hand in her daughter’s kidnapping.

Shannon Matthews BBC News
Shannon Matthews went ‘missing’ in 2008 (Credit: BBC)

What happened to Shannon Matthews?

Shannon was found safe and well after a 24-day manhunt. She was under a bed at the home of Karen’s boyfriend’s uncle, Michael Donovan.

As a result, it was alleged that Karen and Michael had cooked up the scheme to get money that she believed the parents of missing Madeleine McCann were getting at the time.

What happened to Karen Matthews? The disgraced mum has a new identity (Credit: ITV)

What did Karen say about the McCanns?

Karen reportedly hit out at the media attention Madeline McCann’s parents were getting.

She appeared to lay the blame for the youngster’s disappearance on her mum, Kate McCann.

Read more: Karen Matthews ‘engaged to convicted paedophile’

“I’ve been judged and I’m paying for it but Maddie’s mother was bad too,” said Karen, according to The Mirror.

“Don’t get me onto the McCanns, we’ve all got something to say about them.

“We’re too lower class for them but we can still have an opinion. There seems to be one rule for them and another for us but she was a dreadful mum.”

The Channel 5 documentary claims Karen referred to them as ‘snobs’.

Sheridan Smith stars in the BBC drama based on the incident (Credit: BBC)

What happened to Karen Matthews?

Karen served four years of her eight-year sentence.

The disgraced mother left prison with a new identity.

However, her past has allegedly made it impossible for her to start a new life and she reportedly lives on government handouts.

The kidnapping of Shannon Matthews was explored in a BBC drama, The Moorside, which aired in 2017 and starred Sheridan Smith.

Read more: Karen Matthews leaves carer job after ‘getting too close to OAP husband’

In December, Karen was house-hunting with her fiancé, Paul Saunders.

Paul is a convicted sex offender.

In 2010, he admitted engaging in sexual activity with the teenager, making indecent images of her and two counts of sexual assault.

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