Karen Matthews speaks out in first interview

Karen Matthews speaks out in first interview

SHAMED mum Karen Matthews has spoken out to a national newspaper about how she was not involved in a plot to kidnap her daughter Shannon.

A decade after being jailed for eight years for the drama when Shannon went missing in  Dewsbury Moor, Matthews claimed in the interview with the Daily Mirror that she didn’t know anything about the plot which ended in nine-year-old Shannon being found inside a divan bed frame in Batley Carr.

The kidnapping shocked the nation and prompted a massive month-long police search, with Matthews and boyfriend Craig Meehan making several public appeals to find Shannon.

Shannon was discovered at Meehan’s uncle Michael Donovan’s flat, having been drugged and hidden.

Prosecutors said she was held in a bid to collect £50,000 in reward money offered by a national newspaper.

Now Matthews, 43, has offered to take a lie detector test over the affair and wants to prove she isn’t evil. She said: “I’m not Britain’s worst mum. I didn’t kill anybody. Baby P’s mum and Maxine Carr don’t get the abuse that I do.

“None of it’s true. I’m on the edge. It makes me want to kill myself but I’d never do that. I’m scared I’ll die lonely and alone.”

Matthews served four years of an eight-year sentence, and is now living in an undisclosed town in the south of England.

She added: “From the start I didn’t know where she was, others were involved. I didn’t have a clue.

“You can’t kidnap your own child, I know the truth and I wasn’t involved in it. I still have nightmares thinking that it’s all going to happen again.

“I want to take a lie detector test to prove my innocence.” 

But Matthews fears she won’t ever be forgiven.

The mum-of-seven this week also met up with friend and former Moorside Estate neighbour Julie Bushby, who helped to get Matthews to confess to her part in the disappearance.

Matthews said to her: “I don’t hate you. You weren’t lying, just saying it as it is. In fact, I love you to bits.”

Matthews admitted to Julie what she knew while she was in a police car with her, police officer Christine Freeman and friend Natalie Brown. 

Julie then gave evidence against Matthews at her trial.

Matthews added: “She’s been my friend from day one and she’s the only one who didn’t betray me when others did. I don’t hate her at all for it. She just did what Julie does, she was straight and honest.”

Matthews revealed how she does charity work and has found religion since leaving jail.

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