Date of Interview: 09.04.08
Time Commenced: 1612 hours
Time Concluded: 1631 hours
1578 “Okay, the time is four twelve pm and that’s on Wednesday the ninth of April, two thousand and eight. We’re at the Leicestershire Police Force Headquarters in an interview room. I’m Detective Constable 1578 Andrew GIERC from the Leicestershire Major Crime Unit. Would you give me your full name and date of birth please”?
Reply “Rachael Mariamma Jean MAMPILLY, eleventh of the eleventh, seventy”.
1578 “Thank you. This is the third interview of today Rachael, you’re here voluntarily as a significant witness, assisting the Portuguese Authorities in the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCANN, which is as you know was on the evening of Thursday the third of May, two thousand and seven. At the end of the last interview, you indicated that you would like to talk about the conversation Jane had with you in respect of her sighting”.
Reply “Mmm erm”.
1578 “Would you like to run through that with us please, tell us precisely, as accurately as possible what Jane told you, firstly when she told you”?
Reply “Mmm mmm”.
1578 “Where you were when she told you and then run through as accurately as possible the conversation”?
Reply “Okay, erm basically after Matt and I had checked on Grace, erm Matt went off to search and I went across to Jane’s apartment cos she was there with Evie, erm and just told her that Madeleine had gone missing, erm and I must have known at that point that the window was open and the shutter was up, erm cos basically when I told her that and this was in the courtyard, the sort of, well outside Jane’s apartment in that sort of courtyard-y area between our two apartments, erm Jane looked sort of quite horrified and then said that when she’d walked up to check on Ella and Evie at sort of ten past nine, erm when she’d passed Gerry and Jez who were talking in the street, she’d seen a man carrying a child walking across the top of the road and she said you know at the time, she thought it was a bit odd, erm but sort of didn’t, didn’t really think twice about it because you know the, it was the sort of place where parents carry children around at night because they might have had them in the crèche, erm while they went off to have dinner and then we’d you know pick up the kids and they could well be asleep and be carrying them home to bed, so she said she did think it was a bit odd but you know, obviously with hindsight, of course she’d kind of gone after them but erm, erm and she, so she told me that and we just, you know, our conversation, we were just batting back and forth well you know, surely it couldn’t have been Madeleine, cos Jane said she’d past Gerry and Jez in the street as she was walking up, so she’d literally gone passed Gerry and this man was walking across the top of the road, erm so it was like, well how could it be Madeleine because you know, Gerry would have just you know left the apartment a couple of minutes ago after checking on them, erm and, and then, so but we came to the same conclusion that it was significant and that she’d have to tell, you know, she would tell the Police when they arrived, erm and I think I asked her what he was wear, what this person was wearing, erm and she said he had like a dark jacket on, sort of like a windcheater type thing, erm and sort of brownish coloured trousers, erm and shoes, I mean they weren’t trainers and they weren’t sort of proper shoes, you know but it, they were sort of something, I don’t know, like I don’t know, Hush Puppies, that type of thing, erm and she said that his hair was sort of fairly long, long at the back, erm not long as in, as in length but in sort of volume and we talked about, you know she said it, you know he looked sort of Mediterranean, he, or Portuguese just because you know the Europeans tend to wear their hair sort of you know, longer at the back, whereas you know most British men have it all sort of cut in and short. So she said he, no he didn’t really, that’s why she, I think you know, she thought it was a bit odd because he didn’t really look like a holidaymaker, erm cos most of the people wandering about, erm you know were all wearing shorts or, you could kind of tell they were Brits on holiday, erm so he didn’t really fit that mould and erm, she’d thought, the other thing that had kind of made her suspicious I suppose, was that the child you know wasn’t covered with a blanket or anything like that, was just in pyjamas, you know with bare legs and feet hanging down, erm so the child was being carried like that, you know the sort of head there and body and legs hanging down, erm and you know it was cold at night, I mean you know we all had lots of layers on, erm so she thought that was a bit odd you know, erm that the child just had pyjamas on and nothing else, erm and the person carrying her had a, oh you know had a jacket and, and long trousers, erm, erm so we sort of ummed and arred about that and you know decided that well you know, it just seemed too much of a coincidence that you know it couldn’t be insignificant, erm so you know Jane said she’d tell the Police as soon as they arrived, which she did, erm and erm she didn’t describe the pyjamas to me then, erm it was only really, I think it was the next day or perhaps even the day after that, that Jane, Fiona and I had a conversation about the pyjamas that the child was wearing, erm and Jane had said that they were sort of white with sort of pink flowers or something on and they had a bit of a, like a trim around the bottom, erm and Fiona said she’d asked Kate erm about the pyjamas, you know, what sort of pyjamas Madeleine was wearing, erm and sort of later that day I think you know, Fi came back and said basically Jane had described the pyjamas that Madeleine was wearing, so you know, that absolutely convinced us that this person walking away was carrying Madeleine, erm you know Jane, I mean none of us knew, I mean I suppose I, I might have known what bed clothes, erm what pyjamas Evie and Ella wore but that was only cos quite often they came to read stories in our apartment, or you know if Grace went there, but otherwise you know, we didn’t ever seen any of the other children at bed time, erm you know, I know Jane hadn’t seen the twins or Madeleine at bed time, so she would have no idea what pyjamas, or you know, or what Madeleine wore to bed, whether they were pyjamas or a nightie whatever, so erm, so it was you know sort of like the two, I think it must have been on the Saturday, erm that the pyjamas, Jane described the pyjamas to Fiona and Fiona found out from Kate, erm what Madeleine’s pyjamas were like and they were the same as the ones that Jane had described”.
1578 “But she didn’t describe the pyjamas to yourself on the evening”?
Reply “On the night no, we just talked about the man and what he was wearing, erm and the fact that he was carrying a child that was just in pyjamas, you know with no blanket”.
1578 “What time did you have the conversation with Jane on the, on the evening”?
Reply “On the night, erm I mean it was probably about ten fifteen, twenty past ten, something like that (inaudible)”.
1578 “And where were you”?
Reply “Erm just outside Jane’s apartment in that sort of courtyard-y area, between 5D and 5B”.
1578 “Was there anyone else present”?
Reply “No there was just Jane and I”.
1578 “Do you know if she had told anyone else about that sighting prior to telling you”?
Reply “No she wouldn’t have done because I was, you know I were literally, I went to tell her that Madeleine was missing, she didn’t know up until that point and then she’d said she, you know then that’s when she told me she’d seen this man, or the person and yeah I mean she hadn’t seen anyone out, you know, anyone from our group until that point, but she didn’t actually know Madeleine was missing ‘til I told her then”.
1578 “Okay and you mentioned earlier Rachael that at that point”.
1578 “You must have known that the shutter was up and the window was open”?
1578 “Do you know who told you that”?
Reply “Erm but I mean I remember kind of standing near the window with Kate and Fiona, erm so but I mean I don’t remember the specifics of anyone actually saying to me that, I think it was just sort of a general, Kate and Fi were sort of milling around outside the apartment, outside her and Kate’s apartment and cos I think at, either at that point or perhaps it was later in the night, erm you know Kate had tried to see whether you could lift the shutters from the outside, erm but which you could and they would stay up, erm so I think, I don’t think anyone told me specifically that the windows were open and the shutters were up, it was just erm you know kind of listening to conversations and seeing Kate and Fiona, erm sort of outside the apartment”.
1578 “Did you at any point yourself see the shutters up and the window open”?
1578 “When was that”?
Reply “When, when Fi and Kate were outside, erm you know standing by the shutters, by the window”.
1578 “When you say by the window, do you mean by the building line, or in the car park”?
Reply “Erm by the building, on that path in front of the, in front of the actual window”.
1578 “And when would that have been”?
Reply “Erm well I think it must have been just before I told Jane that, you know we, Matt checked on Grace and I mean I, I did, I thought we’ll go straight to Jane and you know tell her that Madeleine was missing but if sort of Kate and Fi and you know Dave and Gerry might have come out of the apartment and sort of been standing around there and talking about this, these shutters being up and the window being open, erm and I didn’t, I didn’t have a conversation with anyone, I just heard them talking about it, erm so I think it was you know in that time between sort of you know five past ten and ten fifteen, erm but it wasn’t somebody specifically coming up to me and saying, ‘the windows were open and the shutters were up’.”
1578 “Okay. Did you want to mention something about Doctors in the group”?
Reply “Yeah I was just going to say that, you know Kate and Gerry are both Doctors and you know there were three other medics in the group, erm four others actually sorry, four others, erm you know so if by any chance they’d accidentally done anything to Madeleine or she was ill or erm you know something wasn’t quite right, I mean they wouldn’t have just left her and sort of tried to cover it up as an accident or you know, they would of sort of you know, come and got Matt and Russell and Dave and Fi, erm I mean you know, not just because they are Doctors, because you know they’re parents and you’d kind of go to anyone to see who could help but if you’ve got, you know Doctors as friends who were there as well, erm you know there were kind of six people there who if Madeleine had accidentally been bumped on the head or you know whatever the theories are supposed to be, erm you know, there were plenty of people there who could of you know, tried to revive a child, erm”.
Reply “You know and Gerry, Gerry and Kate would certainly have done that, erm”.
1578 “In respect of Madeleine herself, are you able to describe her character”?
Reply “Erm I mean she was you know, a very bubbly little girl, erm very cheery, erm very sort of caring, she was very good with er smaller children, erm you know I just remember Grace falling over and sort of Madeleine going to pick her up and help her, erm you know, sort of full of fun, lots of energy, running around, sporty, erm one game that sort of we used to play in the evenings by the recreation area was you know, somebody would pretend to be a monster and they’d all sort of say, ‘chase me, chase me’ and Madeleine was always kind of the one who started that off, erm sort of say, ‘oh let’s play monsters’ and so you know it would be Matt or Dave or Russell sort of running around chasing all the kids, erm”.
1578 “What about her intelligence”?
Reply “Erm a bright little girl I think, erm I mean oh, her, I suppose I don’t know her well enough to, to really comment on that but I mean, she was, you know she was sort of very together and certainly acted her age or sort of you know older than her age, she was very sort of self aware, erm”.
1578 “Do you know if she was aware of stranger danger for example”?
Reply “Yeah I’m sure she would have been, I mean I don’t know personally but erm you know I think”.
1578 “To your knowledge, was she the sort of little girl that would have gone with a stranger”?
Reply “No I don’t, no I don’t think she would have done, no, erm no, I mean, I mean, I don’t, you know I didn’t know Madeleine well enough but I know Ella who was you know a couple of months younger than Madeleine and you know, I mean she would, she wouldn’t go off with a stranger and you know just from sort of all our backgrounds and the way that the children are brought up, erm you know I don’t think Madeleine would either”.
1578 “Okay. Finally would you be available to travel to Portugal to, to take part in a re-enactment of the incidents of Friday the third of May, two thousand and seven, there are two specific periods provisionally quoted, the twenty eighth to the twenty ninth of April or the fifteenth to the sixteenth of May this year”?
Reply “Yeah I mean we could be available but erm you know we’ve expressed our reservations about going to Portugal and about the reasons for doing a re-enactment, you know in a letter to Stuart PRIOR, erm I can’t really see how you know, what the purpose of it would be nearly a year down the line, erm you know there are lots, you know there are the full details about our movements that night and what happened and you know, there’s the time line that we prepared when we were out there which we thought was gonna be helpful for the PJ, erm and you know obviously since then there are all our statements and I know times might be slightly out and you know, but not, I don’t, can’t imagine they’d be sort of materially out, erm you know to make a huge difference, erm so I don’t really see one why it needs to be done at all and two why it has to be us, erm I mean you know, asking us as a group to go back and do that when it was, you know it was such a, an horrific event and certainly you know to be sitting around that table again and sort of pretending to go back and check the rooms and it would be, it would just be awful and you know, I mean much more difficult you know for Kate and, and Jane, erm you know than me anyway, erm don’t see why they can’t do it with actors”.
Reply “Erm and I can’t really see what the material benefit to finding Madeleine would be doing that re-enactment”.
1578 “Fine. Can I just ask you please, on the, the rough notes that you made”.
1578 “On the previous interview, would you kindly write on there your next exhibit reference, which is RMJM103. Okay I think it just remains for me on behalf of the Portuguese Authorities to sincerely thank you for your time and efforts today”.
Reply “That’s okay”.
1578 “Thank you. The time is four thirty one pm and this interview is ceasing”.