Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

Maddie: Matthew Oldfield interview at Leicestershire Police Headquarters – part III

Read part one here, part two here, and statement from DC Sophie Ferguson here

Person Interviewed:    Matthew OLDFIELD
Place of Interview:    Force Headquarters, Enderby
Date of Interview:    09.04.08
Time Commenced:    1518 hours
Time Concluded:    1538 hours
Interviewing Officer(s)    DC 4078 FERGUSON
Other Persons Present    None

4078    “Okay its eighteen minutes past three on the afternoon of Wednesday the ninth of April two thousand and eight. We’re in an interview room at Force Headquarters and I’m DC FERGUSON from the Leicestershire Major Crime Unit.”
Reply    “And I’m Matthew David OLDFIELD.”
4078    “Thank you Matthew. We’ve just done a quick interview and covered some of these questions I’m about, well all of the questions I’m about to put to you again, unfortunately because of a technical problem we’re having to go through it so I apologise again for that and I’ll just rattle off the questions if I may.”
Reply    “Yeah that’s fine.”
4078    “The first one was, when did you last see Madeleine?”

Reply    “Err I’m not quite sure when I last saw her because it depending on whether we had lunch together as a group in David and Fiona’s, which err we may have done on the last day because it got more common as we went through the week but it was more common for the six in terms of the, David, Fiona, already in the apartment of course with Dianne and err Russ and Jane and Grace and Rachael and I to go up there and have lunch as a group than it was to have err the full complete group there at lunch time. Err but it would seem now, it probably wasn’t until the day previously because we’d seen them in the evening after their usual tea so I think on that day, on the final, on the Thursday when we came back up from tennis I’m not sure that Kate and the children err were there outside the tennis court when we arrived because we arrived late and it would have been about bedtime so I can’t specifically recall whether I saw Madeleine at that point, but we sort of arrived, err it wasn’t sort of big groups who were doing the usual sort of chasing games, they may have gone earlier because everybody else of course was still down with our wives, down in the err down at the restaurant on the beach so it would have been quite sort of the same sort of playgroup and they may have, I think they went back and they were gone by the time I got to the tennis courts.”
4078    “Okay. We also covered on the last interview, did you ever leave your apartment by the poolside door?”
Reply    “And we did if it was err during the day and there was one of us in the apartment then we’d have gone in and out through the patio door because it was the most direct way to get to the err pool and the Tapas restaurant err but otherwise certainly in the evening we’d have locked that patio door because you couldn’t lock it from the, err you could only lock it from the inside, its like a snick connector, I don’t know why I keep saying snick but I don’t know whether its a northern term, but there was a little hasp on the handle that you lock over to lock the patio doors and you can only do that from the inside, it wasn’t lockable from the out so we’d shut that and gone back out the other door and locked that. So during the day we might have done to get in and out to get equipment but err at night, no.”
4078    “So at night times you’d always have that door locked when you’d exit?”
Reply    “The patio door would be locked and you’d go out through the…”
4078    “Gone through the other…”
Reply    “Main door and lock that one.”
4078    “Which then you locked behind you.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “After you went.”
Reply    “You had to lock it because it would open on the, it wouldn’t shut through like a Yale lock it would close just on a, on a handle that opened it.”
4078    “So to generalise then, whenever you were all out of your apartment it was locked?”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “And whenever you were sort of coming or, and going unless somebody remained within the apartment…”
Reply    “It would…”
4078    “The patio door could have been open?”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “Or at least not locked.”
Reply    “Yeah, because usually if err, if it was reasonable weather err Rachael or, would have been sat in the sunshine, essentially reading it book it’d be, so that probably would, probably have been open but somebody would have been sat on top of it so err while Grace slept at lunch time.”
4078    “Okay. And then just to mop up the questions that were outstanding from the Portuguese, when you went into check Madeleine, Sean and Amelie the evening that Kate asked you to do that on the third of May, when you went in through their patio door did you close that after you went in?”
Reply    “Err I, I’m fairly sure I would have closed that, if not completely to, I’m pretty sure the more I think about it though I would have closed it to, because I wouldn’t have wanted there to be err a sort of a funny draught or, or some noise, or something that made the door slam that would have woken them up so I pulled it to, behind me, but I can’t guarantee it was completely shut, but it would have been there or thereabouts.”
4078    “And then when you left after the check…”
Reply    “And certainly when I left it would have been completely closed.”
4078    “And we covered the weather, you can’t remember it being a particularly windy night.”
Reply    “No I don’t remember much about the weather on that night err I’m just thinking more about when we were actually running along the beach and along the err and along the front doing the, the search and I don’t recall it being err particularly windy but as I think we said but last time it was windy enough for us to sail in the afternoon but they didn’t necessarily translate it to have been windy in the evening.”
4078    “Then there was the question of obviously you said when you think you may have seen Madeleine last and I asked did you see the MCCANN’S during the afternoon of the third of May?”
Reply    “Err I don’t recall seeing Kate because I think she was gone by the time we got back up from, err from the restaurant to get the tennis gear but I would have seen, I saw Gerry because he was playing tennis with the social group which was the, the social session tennis, which was what we were coming back up to attend. So he was definitely there, I would have said hello to him.”
4078    “And prior to that you were on the beach because you’d been sailing?”
Reply    “We’d been sailing and we hadn’t, because it was a bit of a walk down to the beach we hadn’t gone down to the beach particularly frequently, we thought we’d get down more often than that but it was, by the time the girls had woken up it was just time for, to get them ready to muck about a bit and go to the, go to the pool or to the slide before it was their tea time and then they’d join the rest of the group from there so we didn’t go down to the beach particularly much, we did on that last day, mostly because we hadn’t done it or even that week and it was a bit of a waste and you know because Russell and err and I were already there on the boat.”
4078    “But neither of the MCCANN’S were there on the boat?”
Reply    “No.”
4078    “Okay, we went through the phone number and I gave you a phone number which I’ll just read out for the benefit of anyone watching this DVD, it’s plus four, four, seven, nine, five, eight, eight, seven, nine, eight, seven, nine, and…”
Reply    “Its not a number I recognise and it’s got that, I wondered whether it the part of the hospital because its got that repeat that it’s the nine, eight, and the nine that makes it sound like a, an official…”
4078    “Yeah.”
Reply    “Building but its not our hospital number so err I don’t recognise it, I can’t find it on my, my phone.”
4078    “Okay, I think we also spoke about, and I specifically asked you about the tennis equipment that the MCCANN’S may have had.”
Reply    “Yeah, and I don’t recall seeing that they had some err I think they’re more likely than Russell and, and Dave to actually have their own tennis gear because I think they were more serious about their, their sport in some ways err I know Russell definitely and I think err both Russell, Jane, Dave and Fiona all borrowed equipment from the tennis people. Gerry and Kate I think borrowed as well err and I can’t remember having their, their own kit but I didn’t specifically notice it and it didn’t remember seeing err tennis bags but I wasn’t in the apartment and we didn’t travel together at the same time so I may be wrong about that.”
4078    “We then went through questions from Kate and Gerry so…”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “What I’m going to do is go through your responses and if there’s anything that I say that you don’t agree with then speak up. We’ve covered how long you knew Kate and Gerry, you said you’d never visited their home address, you’ve not been on holiday with them before and on the holiday that you did go on with them you met them sort of during the evenings, err sort of late afternoon and in the evenings.”
Reply    “Yeah, there’d been a couple of lunch times. I suppose the only caviat after that is the wedding, that wasn’t really, oh there was a holiday, it wasn’t really a, there was kind of a, the only time…”
4078    “I suppose yeah because it was in Italy wasn’t it.”
Reply    “So it was technically more than just a, you know.”
4078    “Mm, and you went for your run with Kate on the Wednesday or so.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “In relation to the children, you saw them at playtime, sort of after tea.”
Reply    “Yeah, drop off at nursery just for, for the twins because they were in the same area as Grace.”
4078    “And have you ever felt that you had a reason to become somehow concerned about the children?”
Reply    “No, not at all, and I think we talked in an earlier interview, but they were always, it was always very appropriate, they were well rounded, appropriately confident, they weren’t particularly clingy you know they weren’t scared of their parents it was all, it was all very normal.”
4078    “You’ve gone through when you saw them on the third of May and your arrival at the Tapas bar, who was already there? You already said it was Kate and Gerry and you think they may have been talking to somebody else but you can’t clearly remember who.”
Reply    “No.”
4078    “And then you just sat down, as far as you recall you sat down as normal.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “And then everyone else duly arrived.”
Reply    “Yeah, there was derogatory things about time keeping for Dave and Fiona.”
4078    “In relation to Kate and Gerry’s behaviour it was completely normal.”
Reply    “Completely normal throughout the meal and, you know, at all times really until after the event, and then it was appropriate.”
4078    “We’ve already gone through who left the table and at what stages on the previous, or on our initial interview. And it, and also you’ve already told me that when Kate got back to the table she was literally bordering on being hysterical.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “Once she’d discovered that Madeleine was missing.”
Reply    “I mean that bit, you, you heard her calling before she got back to the table I mean you know she was, you know she must have been half way down the, the route between her room and, err between their room and the restaurant so you heard her before you saw her err and you could just hear the panic in her voice but then it was just everybody run, rushing back to the apartment so you know I don’t think she got as far as the table before we were all up and, and going.”
4078    “And then the question of were you shocked about what she said, you were shocked at the facts that she was reporting.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “But you were, they were very appropriate in the way that she was saying…”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “If you imagined yourself in her shoes.”
Reply    “Yeah, yeah.”
4078    “I mean you obviously would be distraught.”
Reply    “That moment is just it can’t be, it’s just not possible, it just doesn’t really happen apart from on the news and in stories obviously it does happen but you know the, it was just completely non-real for the, for, for the moment and its only as things went on that it became err became reality because you were just hoping and expecting that it was just going to be some dreadful mistake and that she was wrong, and it just takes a while for that to really hit, it is actually happening.”
4078    “You didn’t really go into the MCCANN’S apartment after that, you saw Gerry and Kate on the sofa and they were engaged with the Police at that stage.”
Reply    “Yeah they were obviously later in the…”
4078    “And you didn’t see the twins so therefore you didn’t notice anything unusual about them because you hadn’t seen them anyway.”
Reply    “No.”
4078    “You’ve already given an account of how you got involved in the searches and the fact that you went to speak to people at reception, and you noticed Nathan, somebody from Mark Warner.”
Reply    “Yeah, water front manager err who we’d met before on a previous Mark Warner holiday. I think he recognised us or maybe he recognised Rachael and then the association to me err but err yeah we knew, we’d met him before.”
4078    “And you didn’t really see Kate so you couldn’t comment on her reaction after the first ten minutes when…”
Reply    “No, I mean who was, it was just indirectly through you know Fiona and people sort of (inaudible) and seeing you know, how upset and everything she was, but i didn’t directly see her.”
4078    “And with Gerry, you said he was absolutely distraught.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “And you felt their behaviour was completely appropriate under the circumstances.”
Reply    “Yeah, I mean he was just saying his thoughts to me and we all thought about our own children and how it would be and if a child goes missing and then taken out the room you assume the worst and you assume the worst thing that could possibly happen to them and just the, the difficult thing for all of us you know, the thing that always concerns about leaving them in their rooms till we’d thought about it and talked about in between couples and between Rachael and I was, I mean, the worst thing you go well, you know, why you worrying so much, they’re locked in, they’re safe, the worst thing that can happen is they wake up and not really know where you are for five, ten minutes, and first that’s pretty unlikely, Grace sleeps all the way through nearly, you know, nine times out of a hundred, and at worst she’s gonna be upset for ten minutes and then you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be there err just the thought of something like this is just, err completely just out of our experience you know, it was just awful.”
4078    “Did you notice Kate and Gerry talking to anybody unknown during the evening meal?”
Reply    “No, err no, not that weren’t known to all of us as part of the, err either the rest of the holiday group or err staff.”
4078    “And did you see them…”
Reply    “Nobody stuck in…”
4078    “Sorry. Did you see them inside a car during the holiday?”
Reply    “No, no I didn’t know there was a car.”
4078    “Then there was this awkward question that, is there any supplementary explanation…”
Reply    “No.”
4078    “That you consider pertinent or relevant to establish the material truth.”
Reply    “No there’s nothing that we haven’t, err I haven’t suggested or thought of (inaudible).”
4078    “I think we also clarified the point that the time that you went in to check on Madeleine and the twins was the only time you went into their apartment to check the children.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “And your normal priority was really to check Grace.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “Which you and Rachael had been doing between you at natural intervals.”
Reply    “Yeah, and it just fell to each couple to err to check each others and then, I think I might have mentioned in one of the previous ones they, Dave and Fiona had a, had a monitor stretched the distance across from the, their apartment to ours and it was just that as the holiday went on and you knew from better, it seemed like the sort of nice thing to do, to, offer to do it on that last, on the last night, but it wasn’t usual routine err for us to check on each other’s children, it may be different for Dave and Fiona you know Gerry and Kate better and their children better err but for us it only, you know, during the holiday it didn’t seem appropriate at the beginning, it wouldn’t be our natural response to do it.”
4078    “And in relation to checking Grace, because it was like at natural intervals your guess is it was sort of every, between every fifteen to thirty minutes.”
Reply    “Yeah I think thirty would be the, the outside err because I mentioned earlier I’m a fairly fast eater and I was finished and rather than just sitting there twiddling my thumbs while everybody else was still eating, I’d have usually gone, I say I volunteered to do it so I probably did more of the checking on Grace than Rachael although she would have done during the days of the holiday.”
4078    “Okay. I’m just going to make sure that I’ve got everything that we’ve previously covered.”
Reply    “Okay, I remembered (inaudible).”
4078    “(Inaudible).”
Reply    “Yeah that’s fine.”
DC FERGUSON left the interview room.
DC FERGUSON re-entered the interview room.
4078    “There was one thing we forgot.”
Reply    “Right.”
4078    “Robert MURAT.”
Reply    “Oh yeah, err never saw him, I didn’t see him on the night but I wasn’t around the apartment as much. I know he, that Rachael and Fiona saw him on that night but I didn’t recognise him when the, when the picture came up and they all suddenly went we saw that man on the night. He didn’t mean anything to me, err I’d not seen him. The first I’d seen him was on the, on the news. I had no interaction with him then and I know he interviewed err or translated at the Police Station but he wasn’t involved in any translation for me and I hadn’t see him before.”
4078    “Okay. Thank you. It’s now fifteen thirty four, is there anything else that you needed to say before we finished?”
Reply    “We covered the re-enactment (inaudible).”
4078    “Well we did speak about the re-enactment last time.”
Reply    “Yeah I just remembered when you said that you remembered some…”
4078    “Yes.”
Reply    “For something else. Err and I think for, for us it was a question of (sighs) we’d do anything that would make a difference to this. If it was gonna be genuinely helpful then there’d be no question that we’d go and do it. There are a number of sort of practical issues in terms of you know childcare and would it be the seven or would it be the whole nine, I mean err you know to recreate the entire night. It would need to be Gerry and Kate, of course they are arguidos and they’d be feel, I’m sure they’d feel a bit more nervous about going back to do it once that was err whilst they would struggle under that and I think from our point of view we couldn’t see, or from my point of view I can’t see quite what extra would people get out of it given that we’ve already given the statements err and timeline and been questioned about that as much as we can remember it, so we’d basically just be following what we, what we said in terms of timing and we have concerns that it’s not really gonna add anything and maybe that if you were to play devil’s advocate and be very suspicious you might be saying it was just being done to create a problem and create inconsistencies. Now that might not be the case and there may be very good reasons that something else would come out of it but in terms of how it’s gonna help find Madeleine I don’t see yet why that would be a benefit, and its use such as whether not necessarily the Police sort of video but whether somebody sort of in all the apartments that overlooks it could be videoing it and releasing it in sort of an edited form or, or just in general because there’s been moments when we’ve sat round a table going, did you sit there and looking at watches and it might look a bit sort of odd and we wouldn’t want that to be out in the err out in the open without good err you know good a, a reason to think that it was going to beneficial.”
4078    “I think you also mentioned that you were concerned about perhaps the weather conditions might not be the same as they were that night.”
Reply    “Yeah, I think that was more of the practical side that if it, if its being done now because of the weather conditions then what happens if it was, you know, stormy for a week, I mean it wouldn’t be quite the same, it might be darker because the storm clouds would, would that then mean that we’d wait for a week or two, how open ended would it be err and also a bit of concern that this is a sensitive time, its going to be a year anniversary.”
4078    “Mm.”
Reply    “And you know Kate would rather be doing, and all of us would rather be doing something that was err a more sort of reflective on the time rather than being, I suppose the horror of that night and getting on that particular anniversary time, the timing is not good.”
4078    “Yeah.”
Reply    “You know, I can understand the reasons for asking for it for being the same time of year.”
4078    “Yeah. So you’re not sort or refusing to attend the re-enactment because of just being awkward.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “You’re just, can’t see the value in it.”
Reply    “Yeah.”
4078    “And you have a number of concerns that you’d like to be resolved before you commit yourself.”
Reply    “Yeah, and I think I’m fairly sure everybody else will say similar sort of thing. I think Gerry and Kate, a bit more tricky from err the legal point of view.”
4078    “Yeah.”
Reply    “And actually, bizarrely enough I’ve got, I was supposed to be going on a friends, supposed to be a friends stag do that weekend and the best man rang up and said we’re now going to Lisbon, well maybe not that weekend, it might not be the best but I might have been out there anyway, but its not gonna happen now.”
4078    “Okay, is there anything else?”
Reply    “No, no I don’t think so.”
4078    “Thank you for your patience.”
Reply    “No that’s alright.”
4078    “It’s now fifteen thirty eight and we’ll finish this interview.”
The interview ceased at 1538 hours when the tape recorder was switched off.

Read also DC Ferguson interviews Matthew Oldfield… with “Technical problems”

Filed under: Documents, Madeleine McCann, , , , , , ,


May 2009


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