Britain’s worst mother Karen Matthews dons a PUG mask for a stroll in the sun with her paedophile fiancee Paul Saunders
- Karen Matthews went out for a walk in a face mask with her paedophile fiancee
- She spent four years in prison for kidnapping and imprisoning Shannon
- Matthews is engaged to Paul Saunders, who was jailed for abusing a girl
Britain’s worst mother Karen Matthews donned a pug face mask as she went for a walk in the sunshine with her paedophile fiancee Paul Saunders.
Matthews, 44, spent four years in prison for the kidnap and unlawful imprisonment of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon.
Last year it was revealed that she was engaged to a handyman who worked on her bathroom, 56-year-old Paul Sanders, who was convicted for abusing a vulnerable girl.
The couple were last seen in public together looking for a new flat, with Matthews cradling a bottle of champagne as they visited a number of properties.
It previously emerged that Matthews was hoping to raise tens of thousands of pounds in cash by selling the rights to her wedding to Saunders.
However, her plan is unlikely to succeed as there are strict laws preventing convicted criminals from receiving money from the media in order to benefit from their notoriety.
Matthews and her ex-boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan were jailed in 2009 for the plot to stage Shannon’s kidnapping and claim the £50,000 reward for ‘finding’ her. She was jailed for eight years and released in April 2012.
Britain’s worst mother Karen Matthews today sported a pug face mask
Matthews went for a walk in the sunshine with her paedophile fiancee Paul Saunders
Last year it was revealed Matthews was engaged to a handyman who worked on her bathroom, 56-year-old Paul Sanders, who was convicted for abusing a vulnerable girl
Matthews, 44, spent four years in prison for the kidnap and unlawful imprisonment of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon. The warped conspiracy had been dreamt up to try to claim any reward money offered over the little girl’s disappearance
The tragic case of Shannon Matthews and her feckless mother Karen
19 February 2008 Shannon Matthews is last seen outside her school in Dewsbury
20 February Police announce a massive search for the missing girl
21 February 200 volunteers join the local police search party
1 March Shannon’s mother Karen issues an emotional public appeal for the safe return on her daughter
12 March Reward offered for information leading to Shannon’s whereabouts is increased to £50,000
14 March Shannon is found inside the base of a divan base at the home of Michael Donovan in Batley Carr. Over the next few weeks Donovan, along with Shannon’s mother and stepfather, are all charged for separate offences
23 January 2009 Matthews and Donovan are sentenced to eight years each of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice
April 2012: Matthews is released from prison after serving half her sentence. She was given a new taxpayer-funded identity and home. She is banned from seeing Shannon and her other children, who were put in care.
2020: Mother-of-seven Matthews is revealed to be living a new life, under a new name and has turned to God in southern England
The warped conspiracy had been dreamt up to try to claim any reward money offered over the little girl’s disappearance, believed to have been inspired by an episode of Channel 4 hit Shameless.
She made a series of tearful TV appeals for help in finding her daughter as West Yorkshire Police launched a £3.2million search for Shannon – who was found by detectives in Donovan’s flat, around a mile from her home in Dewsbury, 24 days after she disappeared.
Prosecutors said the schoolgirl was drugged and probably kept captive on a leash during her incarceration.
Police described Matthews as ‘pure evil’ after she was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
Last month newly-uncovered video of a police interview with Matthews in Dewsbury station showed how she accidentally revealed she was involved in her daughter’s disapperance.
She was shown saying missing Shannon was ‘in a nice warm environment’, with Detective Inspector Chris Walker saying the remark had immediately sounded alarm bells.
Detective Inspector Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry team, revealed he found it bizarre that Matthews seemed completely confident that Shannon was warm and safe.
The mother had been brought in for questioning after details had begun emerging about members of her family and circle of friends.
Matthews told officers: ‘It just feels empty now, the house, without her. It’s not like Shannon. She’s timid, she’s scared of the dark and everything. So that’s how I know something’s wrong.
‘She’s out there somewhere in a nice warm environment but the person who’s got her is not coming forward which is what we’d like really.’
Her then-boyfriend, Craig Meehan, was not involved in the kidnapping plot. However, he was separately convicted of possessing 49 indecent images of children on a home computer.
Shannon was raised by a new family under a new identity and is now an adult.
Mr Walker told a new Channel 5 Documentary that it seemed as though Karen was ‘personally convinced’ that Shannon was with someone else and was ‘alive and well’.
He added: ‘It did raise suspicions in my mind that she had some idea of what had happened to Shannon and at that time there was absolutely nothing to link her to Shannon’s disappearance.’
Detective Constables Nick Townsend, 61, and Paul Kettlewell, 68, were the officers who found Shannon. Mr Kettlewell said: ‘I was elated. As we went down the stairs it was like carrying my own child.’
Mr Townsend added: ‘Nobody ever thought we’d see Shannon Matthews alive again… It’s hard to describe the emotion. You just want to cheer.’
Meanwhile, Saunders abused a teenage girl over a three-year period and his secret was only discovered when indecent images of the girl were found on his mobile phone.
Back in January 2010 Oxford Crown Court heard his offences took place between 2006 and 2009 when his victim was aged between 15 and 17.
Saunders, of Blackbird Leys, Oxford, was only caught after he was jailed for eight weeks for benefit fraud in May the previous year.
He targeted the ‘vulnerable’ girl and made indecent images of her, the court heard as he ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
His victim, who is now an adult, said after he was jailed: ‘He makes me sick. He should die. I hate him.’
Hunter and Matthews got engaged over Christmas 2019 but she had to buy her own Princess Diana-style ring herself.
Shannon is also subject to a lifelong anonymity order alongside her siblings.
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