Première audition - 04.05.2007 - 19h20
Since last Saturday, April 28th 2007, she has been on holiday in Portugal at the Ocean Club tourist complex in Praia da Luz, accompanied by her husband Matthew Oldfield. They travelled from London to Faro airport with their daughter ******, aged 19 months. This trip was organised for a group of nine adults and eight children. Her husband and her daughter are part of the group:
The couple, Russell O'Brien and Jane Michelle Tanner, with their daughters, **** aged three and a half and **** aged 19 months.
David and Fiona Payne with their daughters *** aged three years and ***** aged 12 months.
Gerald (Gerry) McCann and Kate MCann with their twins, Sean and Amelie, aged 26 months and Madeleine aged 4 years.
The interviewee has known the couple, Gerry and Kate, since 2003. Her husband, Matthew, knew them from before. On arrival at the airport, they were transported in a, "Mark Warner," company bus. There were other people on the bus apart from the group. They were put up at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz.
The couples had their own, individual apartments, at the same complex, with their respective children. Since their arrival until yesterday evening, when Madeleine disappeared, the days have all been the same.
After breakfast, taken between 8 and 9 am in the Millennium restaurant, she takes her daughter to the Kids Club, about 10 minutes walk from the apartment. The other couples do exactly the same thing, with the exception of Gerry and Kate McCann who have breakfast in their apartment. The interviewee's daughter goes to a room at the Kids Club which is close to the, "TAPAS," restaurant. Madeleine goes to another room, situated near the club's reception, because she is older.
After dropping her daughter off, the interviewee had a tennis lesson between 11 and 12 o'clock. Then she went back to the Kids Club to pick up her daughter, ******, for lunch, between 12h15/12h30. She made ******'s lunch and then they went to Russell O'Brien or David Payne's apartment, where they all ate together. Only Gerry and Kate McCann had lunch in their apartment with the twins and Madeleine. The interviewee has the impression that the McCann family had one lunch together on the beach.
All members of the group did their shopping at the only supermarket near the complex, the "Batista." she not being concerned however about it. There are several till-points, more or less five. Twice she went to shop having always been attended at the till by ladies. She never saw any suspicious attention, or ever had suspicions about anybody she came across, either in their independent activities or in the group with their children.
Her relationship with the couple, Gerry and Kate, is one of good friendship and they meet up occasionally at celebrations, weddings and birthdays.
Concerning Madeleine, she is a happy child, good natured and full of energy. She considers it impossible that a stranger could take her without her shouting or crying. She is a smart child who knows right from wrong.
They had the habit of going to eat every evening at the,"TAPAS," restaurant which is about 50 metres from the apartments as the crow flies but 65 or 70 metres round the building to the back entrance. Yesterday, at around 8.45pm, like every evening, they joined the rest of the group to eat at the," tapas," restaurant. Her husband Matthew, went to look for David Payne and Fiona Payne. At around 9pm, the couple arrived followed by Matthew two or three minutes later.
He had been to check the children's bedrooms, his own apartment where his daughter was sleeping but also that of the twins and Madeleine. He listened at both closed shutters and didn't hear any noise. He also checked to see if there was any noise in Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner's apartment. He said that he hadn't heard any noise.
After placing their orders, at around 9.15pm, Gerry McCann went to check, only his apartment. He was held up for nearly 10 minutes because, he said, he had been chatting with Jes about tennis. Today there was a tournament which they both had to compete in. During Gerry's absence, the waiters started to bring the food. Before Gerry arrived Jane Michelle Tanner also left [absented herself] having gone to see her apartment. A little later Jane arrived.
Between the starters and the main course
pas logique puisqu'ils apportent alors que GMC n'est pas là,
at around 9.30pm, her husband Matthew Oldfield and Russell O'Brien both went to check on the children. Kate was also planning to go and see the children, but they (elle essaie de diluer la responsabilité de Matt, ce "they" n'existe que dans cette déposition) told her it was no trouble, that they would go and check. Kate, therefore, stayed at the restaurant. Four or five minutes later the interviewee's husband came back after having checked his apartment. He also checked the one where Madeleine was. He entered the apartment by the sliding door/window at the rear (the couple Gerry and Kate McCann left that access unlocked during dinner). The said patio door gives access to the apartment's lounge where two doors open into the respective bedrooms.
Her husband went into the main room and "peeped" into one of the bedrooms where the couple's three children were sleeping. He didn't switch any lights on. He could see the twins in their beds. The bedroom door was half-open. It was only later that he realised this was strange.
Pourquoi ? Selon le rog, parce qu'eux, ils fermaient la porte de la chambre !!!
At the time, he gave no importance to the fact.
Encore un qui trouve un truc bizarre auquel il n'attache pas d'importance.
The interviewee's husband came back to the restaurant and said that everything was fine, that he hadn't heard any noise. He also said that Russell O'Brien was staying with his daughter, ****, who was crying.
They had the main course and Jane went off to replace Russell so that he could come and eat. The interviewee does not know exactly when Russell arrived.
At around 10pm, Kate McCann went on her own to check her children. She came back to the restaurant in tears and told us that Madeleine had disappeared. We all got up then and went with her to see. They were all outside some having gone to the apartment to check if in fact Madeleine had disappeared, it having been confirmed. The twins carried on sleeping. They didn't move.
Mais Rachael n'est pas entrée, just hearsay.
The interviewee has nothing else to add. After reading with the interpreter, who explains to her, she goes on and signs.
The interviewee remembers Kate having said that one of the windows facing to the front of the apartment was found open with the shutter raised. The couple had never opened the shutters during their stay.
Kate n'a pas pu dire "une des fenêtres" puisqu'il n'y en avait qu'une. Rachael répète probablement l'on-dit de son mari.