Following on from last week's post about Colin Stagg, in which I wondered how long it would be before the tabloids started trying to get their claws into Robert Murat...
Here comes The Scum with some half-baked bollocks about Murat's whereabouts and yet another fucking 'witness' suddenly popping up and remembering something about 'that fateful night' six months later. I mean, with all that lack of publicity you can understand people forgetting about things until the McCanns hired a PR guy, since when Maddie's been spotted in just about every single location in the entire world and doubt has suddenly been cast on everything the only other suspect said, can't you?
It's worth quoting the start of this utter dogshit in full, for several reasons.
I SAW MURAT AT MADDIE FLAT. From VERONICA LORRAINE and NEIL SYSON in Praia da Luz. A NANNY at the holiday complex where Madeleine McCann vanished claims she saw suspect Robert Murat there on the fateful night, it emerged yesterday. Charlotte Pennington, 20, is one of three witnesses who could blow apart the oddball’s alibi that he was home with his mum.
Two reporters in Praia da Luz? Really? Fucking hell. I imagine that's why The Scum never has the time to report on other events around the world; all their correspondents are out in Portugal, looking for (and failing to find) Maddie (and therefore having to churn out this kind of bullshit).
And 'oddball'. Remind you of anyone, that description? Yes... 'Oddball' Colin Stagg, still cheerily called that by The Scum. So here we go, the stage is set again... there's nothing new to say about Maddie that hasn't been raked over a billion times already, but let's try and find something on the weirdo anyway, can't do any harm! As Matthew Parris pointed out, there is one other victim in this whole miserable affair in Portugal: the latest loser who's an easy target for the tabs.
The next paragraph is key.
They have told private detectives hired by Maddie’s parents they saw a man just like Murat walking on the road outside the McCann apartment on the night she disappeared.
Ah yes. It's these private detectives again, who are obviously far more trustworthy, being as they are in the pay of the McCanns, than those pesky independent Portuguese police! Funny how the private detectives never unearth anything relating to the parents, isn't it? Anyway...
Charlotte — a childminder at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal — challenged expat Murat, 34, the next day. He denied being near the scene. Charlotte said he clammed up when she tried to grill him further.
Days later she and five fellow nannies saw Murat again in a supermarket. He was talking to a mystery man who bore an uncanny likeness to a sketch of a suspect cops were seeking.
Charlotte is said to have told private investigators from Spain’s Metodo 3 agency the man was “between 27 and 35, with medium build, very dark eyes and a Portuguese or Spanish look”.
Hmm. Well there can't be many people fitting that description in Praia de Luz, can there? Portuguese or Spanish-looking. Anything other than McCann-looking, one suspects.
It's clever stuff. It's been brilliantly constructed and well thought out. First, we hear about the long-haired geezer supposedly seen near the scene, carrying a child. Then, later - much later - when that's been absorbed into our subconscious, we get a report of Murat being spotted near to this mysterious guy. Yet Charlotte, pictured in The Scum beaming away on a park bench in a miniskirt and beret, apparently didn't have the nous to put two and two together until now.
Murat has always maintained that when Maddie, four, disappeared on May 3, he was at home with his mother Jenny, 71.
Charlotte said she saw him near the McCanns’ holiday flat at around midnight. Yesterday it was claimed police used Murat as a translator — giving him access to the crime scene — as he was a long-time informant.
Claimed by whom? The Scum won't tell us. Keep it a secret then, see if I care!
And now, a bit further down the story, comes the reason why so much anti-Murat stuff keeps getting dredged up by the private detectives and their paymasters:
The hunt for Maddie — whose 39-year-old parents Kate and Gerry have also been named suspects by Portuguese detectives — has centred on a disused barn near Praia da Luz where a blood-specked towel was found.
The samples have proved too tiny to match to Maddie’s DNA. But fibres on the towel allegedly strongly match samples from the boot of a car rented by Kate and Gerry after Maddie vanished.
At the moment, anything that comes from these private detectives has to be taken with a giant handful of salt. Their clients are suspects in a murder case, yet the tabs quote them as if they're some kind of benevolent independent police force who are just trying to find the truth. They aren't. They are there to do their clients' bidding.
You get the impression The Scum's journalists might know that deep down, hence the tagging-on of the real policework further down the story - and I suspect whoever wrote that front-page headline knew very well about the double meaning of 'frame' - but heaven forbid that should prevent them from splashing on another spurious Maddie lead and implicating another 'oddball' in murder.