Shannon Matthews' mother spends second day under police questioning

THE mother of Shannon Matthews spent a second day today being quizzed by detectives investigating her daughter's alleged abduction.

The 32-year-old is being held at Wakefield police station as police question her on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Magistrates extended the time detectives could question Mrs Matthews until mid-morning tomorrow.

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She was arrested on Sunday night by a family liaison officer in response to a remark made while being transported in a police car.

It is understood Mrs Matthews was in the car with two other female friends when the remark was made.

Meanwhile, detectives are investigating reports that someone claiming to be connected to the family of Shannon Matthews asked for money from the fund set up to help find missing Madeleine McCann.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCanns had received two or three requests from people claiming to be members of the Shannon Matthews family.

He said: "All I can say is that an approach was made on two or three occasions by an individual who appeared to be associated with the family.

"The man concerned was aggressive and seemed to be asking for money for the Shannon fund along the line of 'You have money, we don't, can we have some of yours?"'

"An illiterate request also came in by email and that too was rejected because of the way it was done as it raised our suspicions."

Mrs Matthews is the fourth family member to be arrested in connection with the nine-year-old's 24-day disappearance from Dewsbury on February 19.

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It is understood police are looking at similarities between a Channel 4 episode of Shameless which featured a fake kidnap plot and Shannon's disappearance.

Shannon was discovered in the base of a bed at an address just one mile from her home after a 24-day police search.

Michael Donovan, formerly known as Paul Drake, of Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, was arrested on March 14 after Shannon was found at his flat.

The 39-year-old is the uncle of Craig Meehan, 22.

Meehan appeared at Dewsbury Magistrates' Court charged with 11 counts of possessing indecent images of children.

He was remanded in custody to appear again before the same court on Friday.

Meehan's sister, Amanda Hyett, 25, who lives next door to Shannon's mother in Moorside Road, and his mother, Alice Meehan, 49, were both arrested in connection with the alleged abduction.

The women were arrested last week, the 25-year-old on suspicion of assisting an offender, and the 49-year-old on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The pair were granted bail the following day pending further inquiries.

It was revealed on Sunday that Donovan slit his wrists while on remand at Leeds Prison.

The incident happened on Saturday night and he was taken to hospital before being returned to prison.

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