Portugal still pouring pain on the McCanns; They need our help

17 January 2010
The News of the World
Anna Smith

I DON'T know if we can stand much more of their public pain - and yet we must.

The agony on the faces of Kate and Gerry McCann is hard to watch as they run the gauntlet of hate in Portugal.

Against the bitter winter chill, they arrived for the court case to ban a truly evil book by a fat, useless ex-cop who was sacked for not doing his job.

So it shouldn't be any surprise that disgraced detective Gonçalo Amaral spat, " F    the McCanns ," when asked if his book was hurting the couple.

This is a man who is not just without morals or compassion. He is a greedy parasite who has fed off the the misery of a couple whose suffering never ends.

This, remember, is a man who enjoyed boozy lunches when he should have been out looking for Maddie in those terrifying days after she went missing.


And he presided over a bungling police investigation that didn't just trample over crucial forensic evidence, but failed to set up road blocks within hours of Maddie's disappearance.

This chancer turns my stomach, just about as much as the sicko individuals who have so little to do in their twisted world that they set up a pressure group to heap more distress on the McCanns.

Led by retired solicitor Tony Bennett, a man who clearly has nothing better to do, their sick websites spout bile against the McCanns, alongside lurid pictures and cartoons that nobody in their right mind would ever associate themselves with.

And yet, despite appeals to MPs, Cabinet Ministers and the Attorney General, the website is still allowed to operate.

These weirdos will be rubbing their hands with glee at the agony Maddie's parents are suffering as they sit through the libel case in Portugal, hoping to prevent publication of Amaral's diatribe.

Whatever you think of this tragic case, if ever anyone has been punished for an error of judgement, it is Kate and Gerry McCann.

Of course they will never forgive themselves for leaving Madeleine alone in the apartment that night.

But nobody deserves to have reaped the whirlwind of hate on top of unimaginable suffering in the way they have. Finding Maddie is a crusade they will take to their graves and it has brought them to Portugal, once again clutching at straws.

They probably thought they could steel themselves for the court case, as they must have read the details of the police investigation a thousand times, hoping for something that may have been missed.

But from the look on the McCanns' faces, sitting within the grim, cold walls of a courtroom as the details of cops' sniping unfolded, it has been much more painful than they anticipated.

No wonder heart specialist Gerry lost his cool under the aggressive questioning of the Portuguese Press.

Because the fact is, from day one, the Portuguese have never forgiven the McCanns.

Not for leaving their children alone in the holiday apartment while they ate dinner with friends nearby. No.

They have never forgiven them for one reason alone - because, when you think of Portugal now, you think of Madeleine McCann.

You think of a child being snatched from her bed.

You think of that day when Kate McCann walked into the police station to a barrage of cruel jibes and shouts from an ugly mob of locals.


That is the image Portugal brings to so many of our minds.

Let's be honest - the Portuguese were more interested in the effect on the tourist trade than finding Maddie.

And when they turned on the couple, sponger Amaral saw a way of making some money after being sacked as a cop. (Blogger note: Along with all the other lies and xenophobia displayed in this piece, it should be noted that Amaral quit, he was not sacked.)

If any of the allegations in his book were founded on real evidence, you would be able to see the force of it.

But this is just a slapdash effort - designed to do nothing more than cash in.

We've even had wild allegations - denied by Gerry - that Kate dreamt Maddie's body was on a hillside, which convinced police she'd killed her. (Blogger note: Police files confirm Kate contacted PJ re: this.)

If anything confirms for me that this bunch couldn't find their a   s in the dark, it is this.

We have watched the McCanns almost disintegrate in the last few years, and it has been very painful.

But we have to stick with them - because maybe, just maybe, Maddie is still alive out there somewhere.

After all, it wouldn't be the first time that a missing kid turned up years later.

So I, for one, pray that one day we can share their joy if Maddie returns.

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