Karen Matthews jailed for 8 yrs

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  • Shannon Matthews' mum faces eight years behind bars

    The mother of Shannon Matthews has been jailed for eight years for her role in the kidnap of her own daughter.

    The 33-year-old was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty last month of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

    Karen’s former partner’s uncle, Michael Donovan, 40, was convicted for the same offences and was also jailed for eight years, according to the Press Association.

    Sharon went missing in January last year and was found 24 days later in Donovan’s flat in West Yorkshire.

    The judge, Mr Justice McCombe, said: ‘The offences that you committed were truly despicable. It is impossible to conceive how you could have found it in you to put this young girl through the ordeal that you inflicted upon her.

    ‘It is incomprehensible that you could have permitted your friends, neighbours and in your case, Matthews, even your children to sacrifice time and energy in extensive searches for the supposedly missing child.’

    McCombe also commented that their ‘low intellect‘ led him to believe the two were helped by others in their scheme.

    ‘In my judgment, their culpability is the same. In saying that, having regard to their low intellect, as emerged in evidence at trial and in the pre-sentence reports, it must be doubtful whether they could have conceived or continued these offences without the assistance or connivance of others.

    ‘The pre-sentence report in Matthews’ case comments that neither defendant seems to have the cognitive ability to devise and orchestrate such an elaborate offence with any degree of likelihood of success.’

    Sharon was not physically harmed, but her ordeal reportedly left her ‘disturbed, traumatised and frightened‘.   

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