Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

Matthew Oldfield interview part II

Read part one here and statement from DC Sophie Ferguson here

4078    “Okay.  It says the time is eleven fifty-four and we are still on Wednesday the ninth of April two thousand and eight.  I am DC Sophie FERGUSON from Leicestershire Major Crime Unit.  I know we have already had an interview but just introduce yourself again please?”
Reply    “I’m Matthew David OLDFIELD”.
4078    “Thank you”.
Reply    “Do you need my address or anything?”
4078    “No, I think we will go with the first one for that.  We have been speaking Matthew already about, you know, the first part of your holiday in Praia da Luz last May?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And obviously in relation to Madeleine McCANN going missing.  And we have already covered between Saturday and Wednesday night.  And then we got to the point where I kind of enforced a break on you.  And we can now concentrate on Thursday, if you are okay with that?”
Reply    “Yeah, that’s fine”.
4078    “Again, like I said at the beginning of the last interview, it is just as you remember it, you know, if you remember things differently to how, you know, things are written in statements and that becomes apparent later on, don’t worry about that, it is as you can remember it now.  You haven’t looked at your statements this morning?”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And you know that you are able to do that if you want to.  But we have, well you have decided, and I am in agreement with that, that you are going to do this without looking at your statement first?”
Reply    “Yeah, I mean, I think the Thursday is the day we’ve thought about the most and that certain bits of it I don’t remember particularly well but the important bits I think I do and I think there are bits that, erm, that from my previous statement, I don’t think there is anything different in there but, erm, I do think and I’m happy with the statement first”.
4078    “You might be surprised but this isn’t a test”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “This is just to recall”.

Reply    “I know it feels like an exam of course but”.
4078    “Does it?”
Reply    “Yeah, a bit”.
4078    “Oh sorry, well I will try not to make it feel like an exam”.
Reply    “No, you know, it’s a test of memory”.
4078    “Yeah, it is a test of memory obviously”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “But we will move through it and we will do it as we have done the rest of it, if you can tell me as much as you can remember and then sort of we will go through the finer details later on?”
Reply    “Yeah, yeah, I mean, as I say, Thursday I think since I’ve thought about it and it’s much clearer.  The Thursday morning we, Rachael, Grace and I went to the Millennium Restaurant for breakfast, well as we did each morning, as I’ve already said.  There wasn’t anybody else there, we had breakfast on our own.  I don’t mean there was nobody else at any other table, but it was fairly quiet, but none of the other group were there initially.  Now we were always fairly early because Grace was always awake earliest, erm, awake at, I don’t know”.
4078    “Lucky you!”
Reply    “Yeah, always by half six or six o’clock and she’d be sort of sparky and awake and wanting to get up and so we’d sort of trudge on and we might even be banging on the doors waiting for them to open up, we’d be fairly early to breakfast.  And so that morning we’d eaten breakfast and we were ready to leave before anybody else arrived and we were actually out of the door when Russell, with his two children, but not Jane, arrived.  Erm, so because I don’t, I didn’t really enjoy dropping Grace off at Nursery because she got a bit upset, Rachael volunteered to go and do it.  So she went back, erm, she went back first and I stayed with Russell and went  back in for breakfast, because I was going to go down to the beach and sail because they had, erm, either a sailing or a wind surfing, I think they had sailing that morning, so I was going to go down and go sailing, that’s what we’d agreed that I would do.  Erm, so we went back in and he had breakfast and I think Jane had tennis, I think maybe they were, I think they had a lesson, did they have a lesson together Rachael and Jane, erm, they wouldn’t have done because we’d have had lessons as a couple.  And so I went back in with Russell and Ella and Evie and we had breakfast and then we walked back together and we, Russell had to take Ella and Evie, erm, so he dropped Ella off at the, at her Nursery area which was separate from where we drop Grace, and then he went on and I turned left and went down to the beach and went sailing for that morning.  Erm, from then, I don’t remember, I assume we made our way back from the beach, picked Grace up from Nursery and, erm, had lunch, but I can’t remember where we had lunch that day, it may have been at Dave and Fiona’s by that point in the week.  Erm, and then in the aft, when Grace went down to sleep Rachael went to play tennis with Jane, I’m fairly sure about that.  And then I went down to the beach with Russell and we actually went sailing for part of the evening, erm, for part of the afternoon, so it was sort of relatively late in the, erm, because Grace would sleep sort of half twelve, one o’clock and she’d sleep for sort of a couple of hours and Rachael would be out to play tennis and then came back, erm, so we went off from then.  And I’d been, we’d been down to the beach a couple of times before but we’d end up going canoeing and I’d always wanted to go sailing because the boats that I’d really like to sale are the big catamarans, they’ve got some (inaudible) cats, which are, erm, sort of sixteen foot long, but you ideally need, certainly in a breeze, you need two people to weight them down or they tend to turn over, so I’d always been trying to get him out on one of those and he sort of agreed to, erm, and he didn’t have confidence in my sailing abilities, but, erm, he agreed to come on one of those and there was enough wind that lunchtime to actually do it.  And so we went back down to the beach and took one of the cats out and we were out a bit longer than expected because part of the boat’s strapping fell off and I fell off the back and so we got sort of stranded in the water and he didn’t really know how to sail but managed to bring the boat round and I was sort of like a mile from shore thinking I’m going to have to swim all the way back or he’s going to run me down with the boat, but he actually did really well and actually managed to pick me up on the back of the boat.  Erm, by the time we’d got back in the, erm, the rest of the families were down on the beach, apart from Gerry and Kate and their kids, so it was Dave and Fiona and Lily and Scarlet, erm, and Jane and Ella and Evie and they were playing on the beach.  And so we sort of put the boat away, got changed and came over to them, all sort of full of our experiences of falling over and Russell saving my life, as he, you know, he told you yesterday”.
4078    “I bet he loved that”.
Reply    “Yeah, he did like that.  And it wasn’t my fault I fell off the back.  Erm, I think he was steering.  Well, anyway, so we came back.  And then we went from there and we actually had, unusually, we had, erm, actually had tea with the kids down at the restaurant, which I think is call the Paradiso or Para, Paradiso, sort of a beachfront restaurant, it’s on the sand and you access by sort of boardwalks, and we actually had, erm, tea with the kids and ice cream.  Now we was, there was a men’s social tennis that night, but because we’d had sort of quite a, it was quite sort (inaudible), we’d actually been off sort of enjoying ourselves and sailing, erm, it got sort of quite late and we didn’t think we were actually going to be able to go, so we actually had a beer at the restaurant while the kids were, you know, they were eating, and it was past six before the girls said, well they’ve moved this forward for us and we’re not turning up to the social tennis so you guys should go.  So we finished and set off, probably about twenty past six, sometime around there, because it was after when we’d got them to move, we were already late, so I think if we’d said, if they’d move it to six thirty and we’re setting off at six twenty, I would have been happy that we could have made it there in time, but we’d already gone past the time when I thought we won’t be able to go because we were already so late”.
4078    “Was that you, David and”.
Reply    “Russell”.
4078    “Russell”.
Reply    “It was men’s social.  Erm, so we went back up, erm, back to, well I went back to the apartment, got the tennis gear and back onto the courts or back to the courts area, erm, and the other guys went to get their stuff.  Erm, and I think Dave said that he’d been to the apartment, but I don’t know that for definite, that’s just something I think has come out, I didn’t know anything about that.  So we went, got our stuff and came back to the courts, which were already in play, because the social had already started.  And Gerry was down playing on a court, I think there was only three of them, I think the, erm, the coach, whose name I can’t remember, the tennis coach, the blonde haired bloke, erm, was playing to make up the numbers.  And so we waited and watched for a little while, so we didn’t get on court until, phew, sometime closer to seven, so maybe sort of quarter to or twenty to or ten to seven we went down to the court.  And we were hoping that Gerry would actually stay and make up the four, because everybody, there was one court that was full of four and then there was a three over he, but he, erm, sort of went back to, erm, to sort of help with, you know, Kate and the kids and didn’t stay to sort of play with us and there was just the three of us and I think the coach stayed and played to make up the four initially, but didn’t want to stay, so he didn’t stay the whole time.  But we played then for, I think the best part of an hour, erm, before going back to the apartment.  And that would have made me slightly late for putting Grace to bed, so I was sort of, oh I better go, I better finish now because, you know, Rachael will be doing it all on her own”.
4078    “You would be in trouble?”
Reply    “Well, yeah, and also because, you know, I like doing the, I usually do bath time and Rachael would do the story, so I was quite keen to get back anyway.  So half seven we’d normally be trying to get her down to, but she was, erm, awake when I got back so we did the story, I mean, she’d had a bath and been out, but it was just sort of the down time before getting into bed, I’m pretty certain she was still awake at that point when we came back, so we put her down and read stories, erm, she goes down fairly easy, she goes into our bedroom and we take all the stuff we need out of the room before we, erm, sort of put her down and then close the door so we don’t have to go back in, although you often could if you crept in without waking her up.  Erm, so that would be sometime between, normally we’d be there at half seven and sort of have an hour to get down, to get, to get ready to go out, so it’d be sort of closer to eight this time.  Erm, we’d get showered and get changed and then, because we can see the Tapas from our patio doors, we can see when anybody else goes down there, because the original table was booked for eight thirty, erm, we were a bit later that night and it was about quarter to and we saw Gerry and Kate down there and so we locked up, went round and joined them at the table.  Now I don’t recall seeing Jane and Russell there, but I’m told that Jane was there at the time as well.  But we got there and sort of chatted and then Russell arrived.  And we were all there, apart from Dave and Fiona and Fiona’s mother, Dianne, at sort of five to nine, and they were, they were always sort of fairly relaxed and sort of a bit late and disorganised, I mean, that’s a bit unfair, but they were certainly, they’d always be pretty much the last to arrive, they were always late for most things and you could see the light on in their apartment, you could see it from the Tapas and you could see them moving around so you knew they were still there.  And so I decided that I’d go back and short of chivvy them along, because I felt a bit bad that, you know, there’s just us in this restaurant, as there had been most of the week, there weren’t often, erm, on one night they had a quiz and there were a few sort of more tables, erm, around that were occupied, but most of the time it was just us and I felt a bit bad that we said we’d be there at half eight and, you know, it was getting later and later and it was now coming to nine and we hadn’t even got the table there to get ready to order, but by this time in the week we knew what we were going to order, so I told Rach, you know, I’ll have whatever it was, I think it was, erm, probably sardines because, you know, they were pretty good, erm, so I put my order in for her to order if the waiter came back and went to try and sort of chivvy them along.  But as I was leaving the Tapas area, you know, and their light going off and knowing that they were coming down and on their way, and on my way up, about at that top corner before you turn left to get round the back, as you go up the top of the hill, we sort of passed on the way down and they were on their way to the restaurant, but it seemed a bit silly not to go ahead and just sort of check on Grace, even though we’d only been down there about fifteen minutes, but that was sort of a convenient time to go and do it.  So I went and listened, I went, I found the time, because we’d only just been in there about fifteen minutes ago, and I just listened outside her shutters, so I just passed along that wall that goes to the two, sort of to the McCANN’s apartment, so I listened outside our shutters and went along to their shutter and had a listen out there, not because I’d been asked to, but, or it’s not the sort of thing you think about, it’s just kind of, erm,”.
4078    “You thought you might as well?”
Reply    “So I thought I might as well and I can report back and they can be, you know, be reassured that everything was okay.  And we talked a lot in the previous interviews about what state the shutters were in, whether they were, and they were all definitely down, there’s three shutters, you know, there’s, you know, two, and they’re all at the same level, there was no, I would have noticed if they were, if one was up and the rest were down, it would have looked odd”.
4078    “What was the lighting like around that area at that time?”
Reply    “It’s getting dusk, erm, by that time, but not completely dark, erm, it was not as dark as it got later on (inaudible) visibility”.
4078    “And you said that, obviously you spoke about some previous interviews?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And you are confident the shutter was down?”
Reply    “Yeah, absolutely”.
4078    “Is that because you can remember seeing it down or because you just think you would have noticed if it hadn’t have been down?”
Reply    “I’m pretty sure I saw them down”.
4078    “And when you listened outside the room where Madeleine was?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “How close would you have got to the shutter?”
Reply    “I’d have been about a foot away, because, I mean, the shutters, you’re not sure how well you’re going to hear something through, so my ear wouldn’t have been pressed against the two, but, erm, it would have been sort of about a foot or so”.
4078    “And how long would you have listened for outside that particular window?”
Reply    “Erm, five or ten seconds”.
4078    “It is long enough, presumably, for you to have stood still, so that you weren’t making a noise yourself?”
Reply    “Yeah, you’d have been fairly comfortable that you’d have heard somebody if they were sort of crying or sort of whimpering”.
4078    “And did you notice anybody else around?”
Reply    “No, there was nobody, you don’t, you can’t see the doorway from that point because it’s round a, you have to go round the corner, so not into that, I didn’t go into that area, but I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything”.
4078    “If somebody had have passed by on the street would you have seen them from where you were by Madeleine’s window?  Sorry, having not been there, it is hard for me to visualise”.
Reply    “No, because sort of, erm, more specifically the wall that comes from the, there’s sort of a drop, so it’s at a different level the car park, you have to go down steps to get to, you go down steps to get from the car park to the apartment complex, so when you go down to the apartment and you go back along the wall, this wall must be, erm, I can’t remember exactly, but it must be a good five foot”.
4078    “Right”.
Reply    “Maybe, and I can’t be exactly sure, but it’s a decent height, that wall, because you’ve got the, the ground is lower on that side, although from the car park side it’s probably only about at that side and that side is down, it’s quite sort of, and then there’s sort of some more sort of shrubbery trees, I don’t know, unless you were specifically looking down the road, you probably wouldn’t see.  I mean, I don’t, I wasn’t aware of any movement, there was nothing moving, I don’t recall seeing anybody there”.
4078    “And no doubt you have replayed this in your own mind several times.  You have stood and listened specifically to see if you can hear any noises from within the apartment?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Have you been aware of any other noises from outside the apartment when you listened on that occasion?”
Reply    “No, I mean, there would have been, I mean, there was nothing that made me, you know, there could have been somebody around the corner, it’s always possible, because I didn’t look round there and you wouldn’t see it, but there was nothing that, you know, that I seen, there was nobody, no.  I mean, the sure answer to that is, no, there was nothing”.
4078    “And would it have been usually to have heard traffic noise at that time of the evening?”
Reply    “No, not really, you might get the occasional car come into that car park, but mostly the car park you wouldn’t have seen cars in, erm, and it’s not really through road, when you look at the map it’s sort of like on a ‘U’, so you’ve got the, a more main road at the top and one main T-junction to go down at the far end of the two apartment complexes, you didn’t really get much through traffic, even going down the hill to the Supermarket there wasn’t, there was always car sparked down there, so they must move at some point and there were lots of apartments, people must pass through, but there was never, it was pretty deserted”.
4078    “And you can’t remember anything specific?”
Reply    “No”.
4078    “Obviously you wouldn’t have been listening for that or paying much attention to that at that point because it wasn’t relevant then at that time?”
Reply    “Yeah.  Well I think that, you know, if you’d seen something unusual I’d have remembered it, I mean, going through, what we will talk about later, you kind of think, well, you know, if things didn’t quite right, it’s the kind of frame of mind you’re in, you’re looking for sort of an innocent explanation and, you know, if you have one then you’d sort of just sort of passed on, but you’d certainly remember thinking, you know, that was odd in hindsight, and I think I’d have remember that now”.
4078    “Yeah”.
Reply    “But at the time I’d have remembered it if it’d been something that triggered at that point”.
4078    “And I know when, I think I have met you on two occasions previously, and one of those was specifically to come and ask you if there was anything that you have thought about since the holiday that was odd?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And I know you racked your brains at the time and you couldn’t think of anything?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Okay.  So what sort of time was it when you did that listening check outside Madeleine’s room?”
Reply    “Well this would have been, I’d have set off about five to nine or just before nine, and so that round trip would have taken me three or four minutes maybe, because on this occasion I didn’t go into our apartment, so it was just walk up, sort of ten or twenty seconds outside the two shutters and then back round”.
4078    “Do you remember what the weather was like then?”
Reply    “Erm, it wasn’t, erm, not specifically, it was a better day on the Thursday than it was on the Wednesday, because we had rain, and I think it was sort of warmer and bit more clear, I don’t remember the, it may have been a bit cloudy, but I don’t remember specifically”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “I think the moon was out later on so, I had the impression that the moon was out later on, so it may not have been, it may have been more clear”.
4078    “And you said it was just turning dark?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Do you remember or can you recall what the street lighting was like around there?”
Reply    “There’s a street light, and this is all, erm, I couldn’t sort of guarantee this, but my impression is that there was, the street lights were sort of very orangey, erm, sort of fairly orangey light, I think there was one at the top corner and maybe one about halfway up on the right as you came up from the Tapas Restaurant and possibly one on that, on that back bit behind the car park, someway further along”.
4078    “I am just trying to illustrate, you said you were fairly confident that the shutter was shut”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “But it was turning dark.  I am just trying to sort of illustrate whether there was any light on that area, if you would have been able to see if it was?”
Reply    “Well it wasn’t murky, I mean, you were close to the shutters, they’re sort of white and they’re lined, I think it’d be fairly obvious if there was a dark gap along the bottom, if they’d been raised particularly”.
4078    “Okay.  So take me through from there then, what happened after that?”
Reply    “So, erm, back to the table, erm, we have, oh, back to the table, Gerry got up to go and, to go and check on his kids, I mean, and I’d come back and said, you know, I didn’t hear any noise when I listened outside your room, so I thought it was a little bit odd that, you know, not kind of a wounded pride that he sort of didn’t trust me, but, erm, I just thought, oh, you know, I’ve just checked you don’t really need to check and sort of, you know, sort of go back, but, erm, he sort of got up and went back to check on, erm, on his kids.  But, you know, you don’t, you know, we’re all sort of responsible for our own children and you wouldn’t sort of say, you know, you don’t need to do that, I just sort of felt, oh I’ve listened, you don’t need to do that because I’ve kind of just done it, but I hadn’t gone into the apartment, so, erm”.
4078    “Did you actually say that or you just thought that to yourself?”
Reply    “Yeah, I thought that, you know, I’d said that everything was sort of quiet, I listened outside the shutters, but, you know, they went back up, erm, and said he was going to check.  Erm, I know that Jane went, erm, went up, and I think that’s because Evie had been, I think Evie had not been well that morning and I think that’s, I can’t remember whether she had any breakfast, but I don’t think she’d been particularly well that morning, or she was sort of a bit off colour not sort of being particularly unwell, but maybe, I think the kids hadn’t settle particularly well and that’s why they, erm, Russell and Jane had come separately in the evening, and so she went back, erm, to check on, presumably to check on, to check on her kids and then came back and we, erm, had starters by then”.
4078    “Was that the first time that you had taken it upon yourself to check on somebody else’s child?”
Reply    “Yeah, I’d not done it before, it was only because, you know, I was there and I was, and it may not have happened if I’d actually gone in and checked on Grace through the room, you know, I might not have just been next to their shutter in terms of to actually have a listen, you know, I was just there, it was only like four steps further.  But, no, I didn’t, even though we now knew each other for the week and I felt a bit more comfortable about their kids knowing me, as I said before, erm, I wouldn’t normally sort of impose that sort of check on somebody else unless they’d, erm, unless they’d suggested it.  It’d be almost like a step, not a step too far, but, erm, it’s not really our place to, you know, to do that”.
4078    “Okay.  So Gerry has gone off almost straight away after you got back?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And then Jane followed him?”
Reply    “Yeah.  Now I don’t remember that particularly well, I mean, I know from what discussion, it may be in my statement from months ago remembering better, but it wasn’t unusual for people to be leaving the table to sort of check, so it doesn’t stand out particularly in my mind.  But I remember Gerry specifically going because I thought, well I’ve just checked (inaudible) and then, you know, well I hadn’t been in so I couldn’t really check and, you know, they’re his kids, it was quite right that, if that’s what he wants.  But I don’t particularly remember Jane doing that, but I might have done at the time, it’s just it’s now sort of faded because it didn’t see important”.
4078    “Okay.  And go on from there then?”
Reply    “So we’d have had starters, erm, now, and then, because there was a natural break between starters and main, that’s when we’d normally go and do the sort of next check and sort of lull in conversation or whatever.  And I think the time that I originally said I did it, and I can’t remember what time I estimated from the statement, but I think I sort of based it on the fact that I’m a fairly fast eater and I knew what I wanted and so it would have been ordered and I’d have sort of cleared away within sort of ten or fifteen minutes, but it may well have been slightly later than my original statement, because these two had, erm, you know, as I said, they went off.  So these two went off, sorry, Gerry and Jane went off, did their checks, you know, I wouldn’t have gone, you know, while everybody else was still eating, and I went up the second check with Russell, so he’s a pretty slow eater, so it may well have been sort of closer to sort of twenty past, twenty-five past nine, sometime round there before we did the next check”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “Erm, so I went to check on Grace and I stood up and Russell stood up and said he was going to go and check as well and Kate stood up and I said, you know, do you want us to go and check on, erm, do you want me to go and check on your kids, erm, and she said yes.  And I think I offered at that point just because we had been together all week and we had similar routines and it just kind of seemed like a nice thing to do that would save her a journey back up and, you know, it may or it may not have been different.  But, erm, I said that and she said yeah fine and she said that the patio door was open and go in through there.  And there was me and Russell as well, so, erm, you know, it seemed, at the time, a very reasonable thing to do, even though it was the first time that we’d certainly done it.  Also, having somebody else there with me, it sort of felt sort of more, more sort of natural and normal.  So we went out and we debated about whether we’d go in first or go in later, but Russell wanted to get back because Evie had been a little bit unsettled and so we went back first and he went in and I went in to check on Grace and actually went in through the door, unlocked the door, looked in, into her room, all fine, came back out, shut the door, erm, went over to his apartment and he said that Evie had been sick so he was staying back with her.  So I went back and did the check on five ‘A’, on Madeleine and the kids, erm, and went back through the patio entrance, so through the gate, through the patio doors, erm, there was, it was light enough to see through the apartment and there sort of a little table light on the right at the end of the sofa and when you walk into the room, you could see straight into it, because the door was open.  Erm, I’ve spent a lot of time debating how far the door was open, from previous questioning, and, you know, it wasn’t flat back against the wall, because that would have looked odd, it was just sort of halfway open, so it seemed slightly unusual that it should be so wide open, because you could see straight into the middle of the room from the angle that you approach it, because the, you’ve got sofas here and you’ve got a bookcase here and you have to come out, you’ve got sort of the wall of the bedroom and then it goes back where the bathroom is and then comes out again, so you’ve got to come out round this wall to sort of, not out round this wall, but you come in and the doorway is sort of recessed, so you can see pretty much straight into the room from the doorway back or certainly as soon as you get past that final wall.  So it seemed odd to have that door open, it’s certainly not something that, you know, Grace has it completely pitch black, because it seems to me that she sleeps a bit longer, erm, but some people do leave the door open and I know Russell and Jane, for Ella, and Lily subsequent, also has the door slightly open, you know, they have light and they prefer that, but we’ve never done that with Grace, so it seemed a little bit odd, but not without the realm of possibility.  So I approached the room but I didn’t actually go in because you could see the twins in the cots and one of the, you could see the twins in the cots because they’re in with, sort of the cots were in the middle of the room with sort of a gap of about sort of maybe a foot between the two, the cots had sort of got that fabric end and sort of a mesh side, so you could see the sides and you could see them, erm, see them breathing and there were two there and it was all completely quiet.  And the other things you could see in the room, there was a, there was another bed at the back underneath the window at the far side and you could see the end of the bed, another bed here.  And because I was looking for, you know, well people say, well why didn’t you go in the room, why didn’t you check on Madeleine, you were, you said you’d go and check, but it was just that, we were just satisfying ourselves that nobody was upset and awake and crying, we didn’t expect that if I checked each three beds somebody, it just wasn’t sort of something that you thought about, you just thought, you know, is somebody, you know, upset, do they want their mum or something, you can say, you know, somebody might have vomited and you wouldn’t know about it, but there was, you know, nobody was awake, you thought, if something, just one, it’d be, it’d sort of feel a bit odd, you know, from the draughts, you know, when Kate went in something about the door shutting, there was, I presume, a through draught.  So I just sort of went towards the doorway, I didn’t step over the threshold, I didn’t see Madeleine and I didn’t check, I turned round and came back out, said all was quiet when I got back to the table and then we went on with food.  Now the room was, we talked also in the interviews about how light the room was and whether I could see the shutters, and I can’t see the shutters because thee curtains were shut and, they’re similar curtains to the ones you’ve got in there, and you just get an impression of just like green and yellow, but they were closed, they weren’t sort of blowing about, because I’m sure I’d have noticed if there was sort of movement like that.  But the room seemed light, and we spent a lot of time talking about this, whether it could be light coming in from the street outside, but there was a light behind us in the room and for some reason I thought, I got the impression of light coming through the doorway from behind me, which his why I said that I thought perhaps the moon was out, erm, but there as no sort of, you know, it’s a questions of whether, there was no sort of slats of light coming through the back that particularly caught my eye.  So I didn’t specifically see the shutters and I couldn’t say that they were definitely open, but certainly the curtains were shut and everything was quiet”.
4078    “So you weren’t, just to clarify what you have said, you weren’t conscious of any draught?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “The curtains were drawn and weren’t blowing around?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “You weren’t conscious of light coming through that window but the room was light enough for you to see into it?”
Reply    “Yeah.  I mean, the difficult thing about that is, when we talked about it afterwards, I agonised for whether it seemed as though there was light coming through the room.  And I have to say my answer then was probably more accurate, in that, the room was lighter than I expected but I definitely didn’t see the shutters up, the curtains were definitely not disturbed and the shutters would have had to have been completely up, I presume, not to get that sort of, because they were shutters that went solid but when you lifted them they had gaps of light, and I wasn’t aware of that and it may well be that the light was just the source from behind”.
4078    “Obviously you have had cause to sort of reflect on that, that moment?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “A lot?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “At the time when you were there, before you had reason to reflect on it, at the time you just said to me that the room was lighter than you expected, did that go through your mind at the time?”
Reply    “Yeah, erm, it just seemed, it just seemed odd, because, you know, it’s really difficult, I can’t explain why it was odd and I didn’t do anything about it, and it’s something I’ve thought about over and over again, you know, surely that just seemed odd and so it was worth you looking round and going a bit further, and I can’t explain why I didn’t do it”.
4078    “Why did it seem odd?”
Reply    “Because I sort of see them dealing, they seemed to have dealt with Sean and Amelie and Madeleine pretty much the way we deal with Grace, so they were sort of very consistent with bedtime and rooms, I would imagine, would be kept sort of fairly dark, they seemed to have come from the same sort of parenting school that we did, and so, erm, it seemed a little bit more unusual that it should be, the door should be open so much and the light, because they were always, the kids were always sort of really confident and they were the least misbehaved, well not misbehaved, they were the least upset when they dropped them off at Nursery, at crèche, you know, it was all really good and it was all sort of, they were sort of very good at, erm, you know, if they did something wrong, they said no and sort of explaining it properly and why, you know, why it was naughty to do that sort of thing, it was all sort of very appropriate and almost by the book, and it seemed a bit sort of casual to sort of like leave the door open, but then they had sort of an older daughter, so you know, and older children might get, you know, nightmares, so it seemed as though there might be a reasonable explanation, but although I thought it was odd at the time, I didn’t say, you know, do you normally leave your door or anything like that”.
4078    “You just put it down to the fact that, well you were a bit surprised that is how they had left it, but that must be how they are used to doing it?”
Reply    “Yeah, and I just don’t know why it didn’t trigger enough of a thought in my mind to say, you know, but I think it’s just because you are going expecting that the worst that was going to happen was that somebody would be upset or out of bed or, you know, or sort of crying”.
4078    “And, like you have said, you know, we all do things differently, don’t we, in something like that?”
Reply    “You know (inaudible) stuff and you think, you know, oh it’s silly that they didn’t notice that or, you know, it was obvious that, but I think it’s your sort of frame of mind that you’re set in”.
4078    “Yeah, and with hindsight it is easy to question things that you had no cause to question?”
Reply    “Yeah, because normally we’d think we’re fairly observant because, I mean, we do medicine, so we sort of pick up a lot clues from people that we talk to and, you know, and how they might feeling or what they might not be saying and so you’d expect to trust that sort of, that sort of instinct, but that, for whatever reason, just didn’t”.
4078    “And how do you feel about that?”
Reply    “Erm, I mean, I think it’s harder for Jane in a lot of ways than it is for me, but I think we’re in slightly similar positions, in that, she thinks, well, you know”.
4078    “What if?”
Reply    “What if I’d done that and the only sort of comfort I get is that, you know, what if I’d seen him or well maybe if we just sort of found out half an hour earlier, but maybe that would have been enough lead time for things to happen faster and for somebody to call to be here, but I think it’s easier for me to try and rationalise it and not think about it quite so forcibly as it is for Jane”.
4078    “How long were you actually in the apartment for then?”
Reply    “One or two minutes maybe.  I remember looking, they’ve got, all the rooms had sort of a book supply and so, because we were spending all this down time at lunchtime looking, you know, doing a bit of reading or maybe sunbathing, but some reading, so I sort of remember sort of looking along their bookshelf as I walked through to see if there was anything that I could sort of take to read for the next couple of days, erm, so it might have been, you know, a minute or two”.
4078    “And you said when you went in you went in through the patio door?”
Reply    “Yeah”
4078    “Or the poolside door?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “How did you know to go through there?”
Reply    “Well Kate said that that one was open”.
4078    “And when did she say that?”
Reply    “When I offered to go and, erm, go and look”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “Because I said do you want me to check the kids and she said yeah the patio door is open”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “I mean, it was closed, it wasn’t sort of open”.
4078    “And I am assuming it is a slide open door, is that correct?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “So you slid the door open?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And you have walked through the apartment and you said there was a light on?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “A lamp, sorry, a table lamp?”
Reply    “Yeah, I think sort of, there was like a little sort of round sort of table like this and then, erm, sort of a small lamp”.
4078    “So, as you go though there, whereabouts would the lamp be?”
Reply    “So you come in, the steps would bring you up to this end of the patio, oh sorry, that’s the side street so it comes up to this bit and you go in through (inaudible), erm, I’m not sure which one of those, I think it was this left one here and there’s sort of like, erm, a sort of a book shelf here”.
4078    “Is that the one that you looked at to see what books?”
Reply    “Yeah, and there was, I think there was a sofa here and a sofa here, it’s either one of those two corners, it was a vague memory of it, that there was like a sort of little side light, a sort of reading light that was on”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “Erm, then as you approach this, because of this wall here, you approach the room pretty much, you had to go in from that angle, so you get a clear view right into the middle of the room.  And one of the things that completely floored me in the, in the interview, the second interview there, they showed me a picture and they showed a picture of the two cots, you know, there’s wardrobes along this side, slap bang on the right here, and they said, well how can you see it, I think maybe it was an aguish thing at the time, but I couldn’t quite get at what they were, what they were really asking me, I mean, how, because they showed me this picture and you kind of accept it as this is the real situation and it took a while to, well, no, actually, the actual, the original Police Force actually moved them when they cleared the room, they moved them out the way, but, you know, I presume it was just a sort of, a sort of technique within the questioning to sort of make you unsettled, but it was sort of quite unsettling, along with this picture of where the shutters are.  But, erm, you know, you wouldn’t, the cots were in the middle of the room and of course, you know, there’s no way you’d put them at the side, you know, to put your children in and be able to walk round and get them from both sides.  But you walk from here and I probably got to about here, erm, you know, to the room”.
4078    “So you didn’t cross the threshold?”
Reply    “No”.
4078    “And you say the cots were in the middle of the room?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “What angles were they at?”
Reply    “Erm, you could definitely see, see the sides, so they’re either along, I think because of the angle that you approach it, I think they were just, you know, in the line with the long axis of the room, but there was a gap between the two and the sides are mesh, erm”.
4078    (inaudible)
Reply    “Yeah (inaudible)”.
4078    “So you saw the sides.  Do you remember which way the children were facing in the cots?”
Reply    “No, it was just, you could just see the shape and bits of breathing”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “I mean, I, for some reason I imagine that the children’s heads were towards the, towards the window, but I don’t know whether that’s just because I assume that’s the way I would put them down”.
4078    “Yeah”.
Reply    “Because I’ve seen it.  I don’t think I could see that much, the view”.
4078    “You can’t remember?”
Reply    “You could see the shapes and you could see they were breathing, you’d stop and look and you could see they were sort of breathing, but in terms of sort of features and standing over and seeing where their heads were, and I couldn’t say whether it was Sean or Amelie that was closest, it was just sort of, erm, sort of children in cots”.
4078    “The door, it opens the way it is shown on this diagram, does it?”
Reply    “Yes, it opens to, back onto that wall”.
4078    “But you didn’t touch the door?”
Reply    “No”.
4078    “You didn’t need to because it was already open?”
Reply    “It was already open.  I mean, it must have been, it must have been sort of at that sort of angle, so it’s just over forty-five degrees”.
4078    “Yeah, so it is slightly over half open?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Okay.  What else could you see within the room?”
Reply    “Erm, there was a bed on the far side underneath the window, erm, and you could see, you could just see the tail of this bed here, just the edge of it”.
4078    “Sorry, I am not familiar with the room”.
Reply    “Sorry, the bed is perhaps, this bed, there is a bed along, you can see most of it, apart from what was obstructed by the, by the cot”.
4078    “Yes”.
Reply    “There was a bed there.  There was build-in wardrobes, I think probably where that dotted line is there”.
4078    “Yeah”.
Reply    “Erm, and there’s another bed along here, which is where Madeleine was supposed to be, erm, and you could just maybe catch the, it was probably set back a little bit, so you could just sort of catch about sort of six or eight inches of the, so you could see the outside corner, the corner deepest into the room”.
4078    “Okay.  So concentrate, if you can, on what you saw of that bed and tell me what you saw?”
Reply    “Nothing, apart from that, it’s just the end of the bed and that’s, and that was it.  And so it as just like the outside corner, there was no, couldn’t see the whole length, couldn’t see colours or legs or anything draping over it”.
4078    “Did it have bed clothing on it, can you remember, or was it just a plain mattress or some sort of mattress cover or (inaudible), can you remember?”
Reply    “Erm, my, erm, this would be sort of a guess, I think what I could see was a sheet and I think it was a metal base coming round the corner, but I couldn’t swear to that.  There was only a small bit that was visible”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “I don’t think it was a bare, a bare mattress, I’m fairly sure there’d have been a sheet on it, but I don’t remember anything sort of as bulky as a duvet over it”.
4078    “Okay.  And is there anything else you can say about what you saw of that bed?”
Reply    “No, erm, I don’t remember there being a pattern on it, it was, it was just sort of a glimpse and I don’t know how reliable my memory is for this, I think it was plain coloured, maybe, if I was to go for it, I’d say it was sort of a light blue, but I really don’t recall anything specific about the end of that bed, apart from just registering that there was a bed against that wall and that’s probably where Madeleine was”.
4078    “Okay.  And you saw the side of the cots and you saw the shapes and knew that they were both breathing?”
Reply    “Yeah, I mean, you’ve got two cots, you know, along this side, you’ve got the short, the long axis along the long room and the short end, which I think is (inaudible), I think we had a similar in, erm, with Grace, and there’d be a slight spacing and then netting and so, from the side, you’d see, erm, part of this one, slightly obstructed by this one, but enough to see through the grill, erm, and this one you’d see through the, through the mesh side, you’d see the kids”.
4078    “And the lighting was sufficient within the room that you could make out what it was?”
Reply    “You could make out that it wasn’t blankets and just something piled there, you could see the chest moving”.
4078    “Okay.  Could you see anything else from where you were stood?”
Reply    “The rest is just sort vague impressions of, erm, of the colour of the curtains, I couldn’t tell what particular pattern, but I just remember green and yellow with that.  And there may have been a duvet on the back bed behind the two cots.  But nothing else specific”.
4078    “Have you been into that room again since that moment?”
Reply    “We didn’t on the night.  Erm, I don’t think so.  I think it was it was then always cordoned off.  I mean, I know that they, Gerry and Kate were told to get their things out of there because they were going to have to move rooms and then, and I saw that photograph of the, of the cots moved to the side, and they then sort of, erm, under instruction, were asked to move things out of that room, but I think they just took sort of essentials, because they then went up to, erm, Dave and Fiona’s room later that night, and I don’t think I’ve been back in that room”.
4078    “I am sorry, you already said how long you think you were in the apartment for, I have forgotten?”
Reply    “It can’t have been more than a couple of minutes, because, erm, I mean, there was no, you know, it was just sort of a check and then it was back really.  I remember sort of being able to pivot here and be able to see this room door was open as well and those shutters weren’t down, they were just curtains and that was fairly, fairly light as well.  And I just sort of came back out really through the same way and shutting the patio doors”.
4078    “So, like everybody that has had anything to do with this inquiry, you must have played back in your own mind the different possibilities of what could have happened?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “And what conclusions have you come to, in so much as, if there had been somebody else in the apartment, would it have been possible for them to have been there without you seeing them?”
Reply    “Erm, it’s possible, in that, just in sort of, whether it’s technically possible, because this kitchen, there’s like a sort of breakfast bar there or an opening there, I mean, you, and, you know, when you come up to here, somebody could be hid behind those units there, there would be no problem.  They could have been, I can’t remember where the bed is in this room, because it was just a glimpse as I turned round, it may be out there, but possibly there is space in there.  And then there was this question of whether somebody could hide in the wardrobes, and I suppose they were physically big enough for them to be able to do it.  I mean, you know, since, everybody talked about sort of what happened, you know, and, yeah, I talked in an interview about whether I thought Madeleine was gone at that point, and I said, well I thought she was, but then I knew that Jane had seen this, had earlier seen this person and she described pyjamas and everything, before she knew what Madeleine actually was wearing, so when that sort of came out then it seemed fairly likely that things had already been done, which I think is partly why it’s sort of been easier for me to deal with the ‘what ifs’ than it is for her, because it seemed like Madeleine had already gone at that point, but at the beginning, when I didn’t know, that was awful, when Kate came back and said, she’s gone, and they were going, did you see her, and I had to say, well, no, I just made sure everything was alright and that was, that was awful, that moment”.
4078    “Can you make any comment on the door or, erm, is this a window as well, it is not, is it?”
Reply    “Erm, there’s a window, I think, well from the drawing I don’t recall it as a window there, that’s the front door here, then you come round past the shutters, and we listened outside here, and the front door there.  I, it’s, I can’t say, I don’t recall it being open, I’m sure, I presume that I would have seen it, but I can’t guarantee that it wasn’t, erm, it wasn’t shut at that point.  Erm, but, you know, there was nothing, it didn’t feel odd when you went into the, erm, into the apartment, it was sort of quiet and, you know, sort of comfortably sort of dark”.
4078    “Is there anything else, sort of trying to draw that moment out for as long as we possibly can and just go”.
Reply    “Yeah, yeah”.
4078    “Is there anything else, that you smelt, could you smell anything?”
Reply    “No, no, we’ve talked about that before, I didn’t smell anything, I mean, I could see the children breathing, but I didn’t clock it as abnormal, erm, it’d be completely to speculate to say whether their breathing was fast or, I couldn’t say, I mean, they were breathing and that’s what, you know, and that was what I was there to check, erm, no, no funny sort of smells, no sort of funny draughts, no sort of funny sort of noises, no, erm, nothing that I can think of for that.  I mean, it was a complete just a shock out of the blue when, you know, I’d been in and then suddenly somebody’s saying Madeleine’s missing, there was nothing that made me think, oh”.
4078    “Okay.  Did you leave by the patio door?”
Reply    “Yeah, back the same way, because this door would have been locked and that’s the shortest way anyway of coming through there, so I would have gone back out the same door”.
4078    “And back to the table?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Okay.  We will move back then from that check.  I am sure you would have already mentioned, but did you see anybody?”
Reply    “No”.
4078    “Hear any cars?”
Reply    “No.  No, I mean, as I say, it was nearly always completely deserted, there was very few people in the resort, erm, you know, you only rarely saw, you know, occasionally people move about on the street and that was mostly during the day, erm, everybody else seemed to sort of eat earlier or, erm, used the baby sitting or whatever service, there were a few people about between and there wasn’t really much of a thoroughfare for, erm, for traffic, so nothing that stuck out”.
4078    “In know specifically one of the Portuguese questions was, did you hear footsteps or car doors opening and shutting?”
Reply    “No (inaudible)”.
4078    “Okay.  And you attended the Tapas Bar.  And what was happening there at that stage when you got back?”
Reply    “Erm, well everybody, apart from Russell and I were back, so I arrived back before Russell, erm, I think I said, all quiet, or something to, erm, to, you know, Kate and Gerry and just sort of sat back down and we carried on and I told Jane that Evie had been sick and so later on when his food came, we said, he’s going to be late, can we sort of send it back or you just keep it warm and he’ll have it later on, erm, we had a conversation as normal, I just remember launching into this Jane relieving Russell”.
4078    “We touched on that yesterday”.
Reply    “It probably came up but seemed inappropriate to mention.  But, erm, she went off to relieve Russell, as it were, to sort of take over, erm, sort of duties and make sure that Evie was alright and then Russell came back and they actually redid his food, erm, I mean, he was eating it when the next sort of checks went, which were about half an hour later”.
4078    “So you think it was about half an hour between your check?”
Reply    “It would have been around that sort of time and the reason I think thirty minutes is because I, I don’t know whether this is memory now or whether it’s since we’ve been talking about it, Gerry said or Kate said, it’s about thirty minutes since the last check, we ought to go, so that’s why I think it’s thirty minutes, erm, because I think that main course would have taken a bit longer because, you know, Russell came back and we started chatting, you know, how’s Evie and all that sort of thing, erm, so, I think he was still eating at the time, so we waited until he’d finished before we went”.
4078    “And then who did the next check?”
Reply    “Well Kate went and did the next check and think because we’d, I didn’t, we didn’t all go at that point, just Kate went and, erm, and then came running back saying, she’s gone, Gerry Madeleine’s gone, and she was sort of borderline hysterical, as you’d expect, and then there was just a blur as everybody then just ran off from the table.  Erm, then everybody I think left the table, I mean, I just remember being behind Dave as he was, and Gerry, as they were running, erm, Russell I think (inaudible) a bit behind and so we all ran.  If you ask whether we went, you know, into the apartment and I’m almost a hundred percent sure we didn’t go to the apartment, we were, because it was just so awful, so Gerry and Kate and maybe Dave, I’m not sure, but went sort of to the bottom of the steps and they sort of went in, erm, and as soon as they sort of said, you know, she’s gone and everything, all hell broke loose, we went round to check firstly on Grace to make sure she was okay and we dropped Rachael up there, telling her that she wasn’t to move, Jane came out of the apartment, did she come out of the apartment at that point or was it later in the evening, I can’t remember, but I remember seeing them, you know, most of the time and then for the rest of the evening they were stood, you know, at the doorways to the apartments, erm, we went back round, erm, and everybody was just running around like sort of headless chickens, so I remember saying, you know, we need a plan, I mean, I don’t know why I said that but I think I’d just read too many novels, because everybody just seemed to just sort of run, there was sort of no organisation, you know, and it was obviously important that we, you know, we did something constructive rather than just running around looking in the hedgerows if, you know, what we, because we all went through this, you know, is she really gone, surely she must have just sort of wandered off and we’re just going to find her and she’s going to be there, but, you know, she’s like a four year old child and, you know, she, I mean, all the doors were shut, she wasn’t really going to run off and then Jane said, the shutters up, and, you know, we sort of scarpered and Dave and Russell were just running off sort of shouting, so Fiona, I think, asked me to go and phone the Police, so I actually went down the route to where she would have gone for Nursery drop off, which his back to the, to the main reception essentially, so I went down that route looking for her at that time and I asked the reception to phone the Police, and that must have been about five past, it’s difficult to know what time it was at that time, but maybe about ten past ten, five past ten, ten past ten”.
4078    “Quite quick then?”
Reply    “Yeah, sort of pretty much, you know, straight away, erm, I think it was only, but then it was a kind of, it was surreal when you got there, I said, you’ve got to phone the Police, you know, a child’s been taken, and they went, oh no, she’s probably just sort of woken up and he thought she’s probably sort of wandered off or something like that and you thought, yeah, maybe you’re right, maybe you’re right, erm, can you please, it was sort of, it was kind of, it was sort a weird kind of lack of urgency, you know, he’d ring, but you had to sort and stand there and say, ring now, ring now, so I don’t know if they rang at that point, but certainly, erm, you know, I certainly asked them to, about perhaps sort of maybe about ten past ten maybe.  Erm, then we went back up to, or I went, because I was on my own, I went back up to the, erm, to the apartment and it was just obvious that she wasn’t in the apartment, but we were still sort of just milling about on the street, everybody was just running around just sort of trying to, you know, sort of search nearby roads.  And so we, erm, I volunteered to go up to the, erm, I went up to the Millennium Restaurant because it was just one of the routes that I thought she might have taken, although I couldn’t say why I thought she would because we’d only been there once on that night before and maybe she’d been for the restaurant, so we’d only been at the initial welcoming, that was the only time that we went for that meal in the evening because the food wasn’t great there, it wasn’t quite up to the MARK WARNER resorts of, but anyway, so we did other things and that’s why we liked the Tapas, so there was no reason really why she’d have gone up there, but it was a, just a different route.  So a lot of it in terms of timing is blurred, but up and onto the top road to the Millennium Restaurant, which is pretty much you come up and along this road for about sort of five or ten minutes and sort of this end of town, let them know that a little girl was missing and then gone back through the back streets, down on the beach and then back to the apartment.  Erm, at some point we were back and forth to the, to the reception as well.  And I think what the reception probably did was ring the MARK WARNER people and say, there’s somebody that’s saying there’s a child missing, because by that time there were lost of MARK WARNER people around, erm, and they were very good, they, you know, they obviously, you know, got there and that might have been the impetus that got them to ring the Police, if, because I understand that there is some discrepancy about when we thought we’d called the Police and when the Police were actually called and that might be that they went on the, on that route first and then went, I think it’s Stuart HILL or, well the Manager, the sort of Manager got involved, that might have been when it occurred.  Erm, so there was plenty of running around through the back streets and back to the apartment and then, you know, where’s the, where are the Police, where are the Police, erm, and so went back down to the reception, this would have been about thirty minutes or so later, erm, back to reception, erm, and at that point, Gerry had come down as well, erm, and, erm, you know, was obviously, you know, sort of intermittently sort of calm and then completely, you know, hysterically upset, it was sort of, you know, it was sort of pretty sort of upsetting, because you didn’t know what to really say, because you can’t really say, you know, it’s going to be okay, because, you know, you assume the worst and it’s going to be particularly awful, you know, it’s going, you know, some, erm, person’s got, (inaudible), some bastard’s got my, you know, got my daughter and she’s so innocent.  And, I mean, at that point, we were sort of in a room next door, you know, the bedroom across, and we thought maybe it could have been Grace quite easily.  Erm, but, you know, there’s, you know, seeing them normal all the time and then to go to that was just, you couldn’t act it, it just wasn’t, it was just, you don’t know how you’re going to react in that sort of situation, but, erm, you know, it was just, we’ve already mentioned the sort of frightening and you wanted to be away from it, but you wanted to try to do something to make it better, but you couldn’t”.
4078    “You feel helpless?”
Reply    “You are and yet people on the outside of it, erm, responded in a much more practical way, of course, they would do, but with decent suggestions about doing this, doing that, you know.  But, erm, we were there about sort of eleven, ten past eleven when the GNR sort of Police arrived and there was two of them in a Police car.  Somebody’s asked whether the siren was on and I think the lights were flashing but I don’t remember, and I may have heard the siren in the distance, but I can’t recall.  So they arrived just about five minutes after Gerry and I had been there.  And one of the cleaning ladies I think came to translate, I think this is Sylvia or Sylvie, I’m not sure, but she was there helping, you know, saying, this is, you know, this is the father.  And they put him in the car and drove back up to the apartment.  And then, erm, after that we did more headless running around, checked on Grace, erm, you know, at times we were sort of like crossing each other, there was Dave, and running on my own, and sort of the other way, and I then went out on the coast road a bit further down, erm, I don’t know what we thought we could do, but it was just better than being close to them and being there, erm, and so we ran out on that, I think this road unfortunately is called, erm, which road is it, Cemetery Road I think it’s called, I seem to remember noticing it because it seemed like a horrible, I think it’s this bit here”.
4078    “It covers quite a lot of area”.
Reply    “You’re basically out on, I think this is Cemetery Road or one of these roads and it just takes you out down the coast and there’s lots of new build sort of resorts going up”.
4078    “And all the areas that made a search, with hindsight or at the time, there was nothing that you can think of that might be relevant to?”
Reply    “No, because as you went on you’d meet other groups, there was Nathan, one of the waterfront people, who managed the waterfront, who we’d met previous on a MARK WARNER holiday, so, you know, you’d sort of cross paths with people who were sort of searching and then, you know, it’d get deserted and there were dogs barking at you as you sort of wandered around, because some of the apartments were occupied and some were still being built, so there was a kind of a bit of, a sort of a lonely sort of isolated place, but, you know, it was all very sort of close, and there was nothing, you know, looking for sort of like funny parked cars or, erm, you know, anything really that seemed a bit odd”.
4078    “Did you see Kate during that initial?”
Reply    “No, no, I mean, partly, you know, because I just didn’t know what to say to them and partly because by that time they were in with the Police.  And then we went to bed about sort of two, three, something like that”.
4078    “You obviously found it very, very difficult seeing Gerry in that state?”
Reply    “ Yeah, most, yeah, I mean, it was pretty upsetting sort of seeing him like he was and also, you know, because, you know, we thought, obviously we were all having the same sort of thoughts, that, you know, you know, paedophiles, Madeleine’s gone, a little girl.  Erm, Rachael stayed at the apartment and, erm, and I think Jane did as well, erm, around.  I think we, at one stage, on one of the return visits, I did go into the apartment, just as far perhaps as the, erm, as the kitchen, and I could see them sat on the sofa, but they were in with the Police and there was nothing we could do or say, so we came back out, and that’s the only time I went back into the apartment”.
4078    “When did you first become aware of what Jane had seen, can you remember?”
Reply    “No, erm, I think it might, I don’t know whether she came on the same night, because I think it sort of, the realisation hit her that she might have seen something, so I think it probably, it may well have been the same night.  I don’t know whether it was that night or the next day, but I feel fairly sure it would have triggered her memory, but I can’t say for definite”.
4078    “How are you doing?”
Reply    “Umm, I’m okay, thank you”.
4078    “I think it has brought it has brought it home to all of us just, you know, what a mental trauma it has been, for you as a group of friends as well”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Which, you know, perhaps people don’t appreciate because they just read what they read in the Press and forget that there’s a group of people who have been so affected”.
Reply    “Yeah, umm, I think it’s just because it could be, so easily have been”.
4078    “Yeah”.
Reply    “I mean, initially we went through this, it could have been because of the location of the apartments, it could have been Grace, you know, we could have been the ones having to generate this, you know, and deal with it as best we could and make it useful and do something useful about it rather than just sort of collapsing.  I mean, I don’t know how they’ve done it.  Erm, but then, you know, it’s, and you thought, oh well, you know, maybe because Madeleine’s sort of quite, you know, (inaudible) and, you know, petite  and, you know, maybe it wasn’t quite so likely.  And then it, you know, sort of that goes away and then you’re left with not knowing what happened.  Erm, and then as well, although we weren’t particularly close to them before, erm, we didn’t see them particularly socially until after this, it’s still, you know, none of us move on”.
4078    “How often have you been in contact with them since?”
Reply    “Erm, I mean, you settle back down as time goes on and it does sort of ease itself a little bit, you are able to then sort of, to function and sort of carry on, sort of people a bit further away, and because we’re sort of further from them in terms of the usual contact, it’s not been, erm, quite so difficult for us to escape it to a certain extent.  Erm, but we’d speak to them, I mean, initially it was every few days and then sort of every week and now it’s about every sort of two to there weeks”.
4078    “Yeah.  There are things I can think of that I need to go back over and clarify with you”.
Reply    “That’s fine.  That’s fine”.
4078    “Do you want to carry on with that now?”
Reply    “Yeah, yeah”.
4078    “Or do you want to stop and have a break, have lunch?”
Reply    “No, no”.
4078    “You want to carry on?”
Reply    “I don’t think it’ll go away if we do it later anyway.  But, I mean, if you’re okay?”
4078    “Yeah, fine, fine.  Just, I will ask the things that I can think of then, because otherwise I may forget later, you know, it probably won’t take very long anyway, because we will need to do further interviews later.  At the beginning of your recall of Thursday?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Well not at the beginning, at the beginning of the evening, you mentioned that you went back, after you had been to the beach, you went back to the room and got your tennis equipment?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Had you taken tennis equipment with you?”
Reply    “On holiday?”
4078    “Umm”.
Reply    “Yeah, yeah, so we had took trainers and sort of, you know, the kit and the tennis racquets”.
4078    “Okay.  Do you know whether the rest of the group had taken equipment or was it available to hire there?”
Reply    “It’s available from the hire, I mean, definitely, I’m not sure if Gerry and Kate, I think everybody else didn’t take tennis kit and hired it, and I know for a while we had two tennis racquets sitting in one of the buggies that were owned by the, erm, by the MARK WARNER complex.  Erm, they have been returned since, but they were definitely, at least two.  I don’t think Dave and Fiona and I don’t think Russell and Jane and I’m not sure about Gerry and Kate, whether they took the stuff with them”.
4078    “Okay.  And the only other thing I can think of at this point in time.  You mentioned that after it was discovered that Madeleine had gone, everyone was running around and you were conscious that there was no organisation.  Did you take it upon yourself to start organising?”
Reply    “No, and this is again, this is the sort of, another thing that, you kind of know the theory, well it’s just from sort of reading sort of novels and just sort of being sensible, there was obviously, you know, (inaudible) there is obviously a time that you need to get everything done sort of pretty fast, because, you know, if you just think about it logically now, I know that’s what we were thinking at the time, but you just see so many people running around, looking in hedgerows, that’s fine if she’s just wandered off, you’re going to find her even if it takes half an hour, but if she’s been driven by somebody at speed, you need to get onto that, get orders, whatever, and whatever response you think you need or we thought locally we’d need, I mean, you just sort of start that straight away.  But there was that initial inertia of, are we sure she’s really gone, are you sure she’s not there and she’s sort of hiding in the bathroom or something, erm, before it sort of kicked in.  But, you know, I was going, we need to have a plan, but everybody had already run, there was nobody to sort of impose it upon.  And, you know, I don’t know that, I think if I’d done anything differently I would have stood by the desk and said, no, you must ring now, you really must, rather than just sort of saying, oh, you know, and sort of at the back of my mind thinking, well maybe they’re right, maybe I’ll go back and she’s just turned up and that’ll be absolutely fantastic, maybe I’m wasting his time, but I didn’t stand over the desk and say, do it.  Erm, but, aside from that, there was no real, you know, sort of structured plan of what we should do”.
4078    “And, as time went on, did you, as a group, become more structured in what you were doing because of the way circumstances unfolded?”
Reply    “Erm, we became more structured, in that, we didn’t do anything, in terms of, you know, life then just became, you know, one wander to child care and back and interviews and alike from there.  I think the media side of things, which we, erm, I think a lot of people informed the media straight, erm, sort of fairly quickly, because we know James LANDALE who does BBC News twenty-four, erm, sort of personally, and his wife, and we did ring them.  I mean, you know, I think we were asked not, you know, people suggesting that it wouldn’t be a good idea to the Press, but, and they may be right, but, as a group, we thought that you need some exposure on this because if you need to get it out there.  And that was sort of as much a criticism, erm, it wasn’t sort of a criticism of the Portuguese Police, it was just that it felt like the right thing to do and it just seemed like a good idea at the time, you know, to sort of try and get some exposure.  And I think we rang up James or his wife, Kath LANDALE, and asked, you know, how we, how you could do that and they gave us a number.  And then I think, we hadn’t, erm, I think then there was phone contact between Rachael and the desk, saying, you know, do you want to go forward with this, because we, we mentioned it but didn’t sort of authorise anybody to sort of to go, because we hadn’t spoken to the Police yet, we didn’t know what they wanted to do, erm, and how they’d feel about it, so we held it back, but I think there were people within the group and it sort of got out pretty quickly”.
4078    “There has been”.
Reply    “In terms of organisation, no, I think it was, we were pretty useless as a group, you know.  I mean, the extended family for Gerry and Kate, erm, were useful, I think we were just shocked”.
4078    “Well it wasn’t just Gerry and Kate that needed the support really when you look back”.
Reply    “No.  Yeah, we got plenty of that”.
4078    “And I assume you all are still now”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “It was obviously very, very hard for you all.  There has been a kind of a timeline that was drawn up between the group?”
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “I can’t confidently say who did it or when it was drawn up, but what can you tell me about that?”
Reply    “I think, the timeline has been sort of, you know, we all thought it was a good idea, you know, (inaudible) Gerry and Kate were there, you know, with the Police trying to sort things out and we were sort of, the rest of the group sort of were trying to make sense of it and do what we thought we could to help, so the timeline, we sort of said, if we write down everything then while our memory’s fresh we’ll remember what we did, you know, it should help, you know, it may help.  Erm, and we then, we actually took it into the first interview and said, look, we’ve done this and they said, no, you can’t read from that.  And, of course, you can understand now why it didn’t seem like a good idea, but at the time it just seemed like a sensible thing to do to try and get all our recall of everything that we’d done down as fast as possible.  And I think there were various attempts, erm, and I think we sort of might, erm, I don’t know whether there was anything done on the night, but the next sort of day or two, certainly in the first two days, erm, we got together to go through it.  But it was mostly us not Gerry and Kate, I think they, they might have contributed to it later”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “And we got a computer I think to write it down so we could hand it over”.
4078    “Okay.  I think we are going to stop here.  I need to collect my thoughts and go back and speak to the people monitoring to find out if, up until this point, we have missed out anything between us”.
Reply    “Sure”.
4078    “Once we have done that and we have gone back over things that we might have missed”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “Then we will move on to just sort of mop up really the rest of the Portuguese questions”.
Reply    “Right”.
4078    “And the telephone, there isn’t much telephone (inaudible), as I said earlier, and then Gerry and Kate’s questions.  But during those processes again we will be stopping to check to see if there is any more things that come up”.
Reply    “Fine, yeah”.
4078    “Okay”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
4078    “I know that lunch arrived probably about half an hour ago and you have had a difficult hour, so we will have a break now”.
Reply    “Yeah, okay”.
4078    “So it is now three minutes past one and we will end this interview”.

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  1. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


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