Kidnapped Shannon Matthews granted Lifelong anonymity

A woman who was abducted as a child and drugged by her own mother has been granted lifelong anonymity. The first in an extraordinary high court ruling.

Kidnapped Shannon Matthews granted Lifelong anonymity: Shannon Matthews became the centerpiece in a wicked scam by her mother in 2008.  She was kidnapped with the view to her mother collecting the £50,000 reward for finding her.

A nationwide search was launched and Shannon was found 3 weeks later. Drugged and tied up, in the bottom of a divan bed.

Her mother and her boyfriends brother, Michael Donovan, were later found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. The case rocked the country.

Shannon is now 21 and, after the trial, her and her brothers and sister were taken into care. They have  had their names changed to protect their identity. A block was also imposed on any reporting but this is due to expire in 2021.

However the high court have now issued a new order which states that their names, addresses and workplaces can never be revealed. Unless it is overturned in court or by the family themselves.

Matthews and Donovan, both from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, kidnapped the then 9 year old girl with the idea of pocketing the reward money that was put up for her safe return.

The plan was to release the little girl into a local market place then pretend to find her. Thus pocketing the reward. However, their plan was foiled when officers found her hidden in a bed in a flat on 14th March. Some 24 days after she was first reported missing.

Donovan was subsequently arrested. He claimed at the trial that Matthews had threatened him with violence if he did not do what she said but she tearfully denied this in court. Julian Goose QC said that she told police five different versions of the story and quoted that she “told lie, after lie, after lie”. Matthews and Donovan were both found guilty and sentenced to 8 years in prison.


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