Before publishing Fiona Payne's statements, it seemed interesting to us to digress a little. Following lots of questions received by e-mail, we are going to try to reply to some of them. First of all, you should bear in mind that I wasn't there during the interviews and that there is nothing in the written report that clarifies how certain questions were formulated or what those questions were.
Except occasionally where it says: "Following our question the interviewee says....." However, typical interviews like these - let's not forget that they are interviews in the context of the disappearance of a child - are often done within the same framework. The inspectors have to pose various, "open," questions to the interviewee. These questions were probably the following (This is speculation, but based on extensive experience, it is highly likely that this speculation is accurate):
- How long have you been in Portugal and how did you get here?
- For how long have you known the child's parents?
- How has the holiday been going?
- How did the day of May 3rd develop?
- How did the evening of May 3rd develop?
- What was the attitude of the parents towards their children and particularly with the missing girl?
- Did you notice anything unusual?
- What is Madeleine like? (Personality traits)
- Was she ill? Was she taking any medication?
Going back to Fiona's interview, it was recorded on May 4th 2007 at 7.20pm by an inspector from the 4th DIC brigade.
On the subject in hand we note that:
The interviewee was heard as a witness belonging to the group who came to Portugal with the young child Madeleine. She (editor's note: Fiona) is married to David who is also on the trip. She has known the child's parents for around seven years. She met Kate while they were working together and she was already a friend when she met her future husband, David. The McCann couple have three children, twins aged two and Madeleine nearly four years. The interviewee has two children, who are respectively 1 and 2 years old. The idea to come to Portugal came from her husband, David, who had already been to Portugal eleven years before.
They arrived in Portugal on April 28th at around 12 noon, coming from Leicestershire via Faro and finally to Praia da Luz. From Faro to the Ocean Club, they traveled in an airport mini-bus. After checking in, they were placed in apartment G5H with her whole family (Husband, mother and two children).
Concerning what they usually do, the interviewee says that in the morning, after breakfast, which they have as a family in the bar at a club at around 8.15/8.30, they place their children in one of the complex's crèches, in different sections. In the afternoon, their children take a nap, while she and her husband stay in the apartment. At around 3.30/4pm, the nap over, they all go to the swimming pool or to the tennis courts where the interviewee stays with her children and her husband until 6/7pm. Then, they go back to the apartment, bathe the children, put them to bed and go to join the rest of the group for the adults' dinner, at the "Tapas," restaurant situated near the club.
During dinner, the interviewee and her husband never went to their apartment to check that the children were ok because they would have heard the slightest noise, or any crying in the bedroom thanks to a, "Baby Monitoring," type intercom. Yesterday, the usual routine was slightly changed. Yesterday, she went to the beach with her children, her husband and her mother, Diane. They arrived there at around 3.45pm and came back around 6.15pm to go to the tennis courts where they stayed until 7pm. Then the interviewee went to her apartment with her children and her mother. In the apartment, her mother, helped by her husband, gave the children a bath while the interviewee went jogging on the beach until 8pm. Then she returned to the apartment and did a few household chores and went out at around 8.45pm, accompanied by her mother and her husband to go to the "Tapas," restaurant to join the rest of the group. TheMcCann couple were amongst the members of the group at dinner.
The interviewee states that Kate and Gerry, as well as other couples, went to the club a few times, at regular intervals, to make sure the children were ok. During one of these checks, Kate came back frightened and very jumpy, panicked even, and she announced that Madeleine had disappeared.
Search groups were immediately organised, in the apartment, thinking that she could be hiding there, then outside, without success, even with the help of employees. Then given Kate's state of anxiety, the interviewee decided to stay with her to lend her support.
The interviewee has never been in Madeleine's family's apartment.
Knowing Madeleine well, the interviewee describes her as very intelligent, and totally incapable of going with a stranger without screaming or protesting strongly unless she was very tired or asleep.
Concerning what Jane said, the latter only said she saw a person with a child in his arms but she didn't know if it was Madeleine.
During the holiday, the interviewee noticed nothing unusual. She has nothing else to add.
After reading, together with the interpreter, who explains the contents to her, she goes on and signs the deed.
Comment: I don't understand why anyone would want to go to the trouble of air travel, and what that entails, and long journeys with small children, to go to a country like Portugal, and then hardly set foot outside a holiday complex. I'm sure there must be similar holiday complexes in the UK, if what they want to do is dump the kids in a crèche then play various sports. They might as well be anywhere!
When I travel...well, actually, I have never been on a package holiday...I like to explore the place or the country I am in. That's why my family would be booking a cottage, a villa, or an apartment, giving the freedom to be out and about, seeing the scenery, visiting places of interest, even just visiting different beaches and exploring that coastal town.
Who wants to travel to an obviously beautiful country like Portugal and not explore the country a little? And in Portugal, drink New Zealand wine? Why? Why not try the produce of the local vineyards? That's what I do on holiday abroad.
The McCanns and their friends are an obviously intelligent bunch of people, but they display Butlin's behaviour! They travel to Portugal, play tennis on the club's courts, jog on the beach, eat regularly at the club's restaurant and don't get out there to see what the country has to offer? They should've gone to Butlin's!!!