Saturday, 11 October 2008

Enfants Kidnappés: McCann case - Charlotte Pennington's statement May 2007

It is May 7th 2007. The interviewing of individual employees is continuing; employees of the Kids Club, the Tapas Bar and the Millennium. Today, Charlotte Pennington was interviewed. The interpreter who translated what she said was none other than Robert Murat.

On the matter at hand, it is said:

The informant was heard as a witness. The informant, being of English nationality, having no command of the Portuguese language either in written or in spoken form, the interview takes place in the presence of a translator: Robert Murat.

She arrived in Portugal on April 28th, the date from which she started working for the OCEAN CLUB as a nanny.

The informant states that in the period between April 29th and May 4th, her job entailed working with a group of children on holiday with the above mentioned company, in the age group of four months to one year. this group is called the "Baby Club". The "Baby Club" group is subdivided into three other groups of two babies and each sub-group is the responsibility of an individual nanny.

In the context of the current investigation, the informant advises that in the course of her job at the OCEAN CLUB, there were various times when she was with a child called MADELEINE MCCANN. Although not belonging to the group for which she is responsible, it is normal, given that the two groups are in adjacent rooms. Thus, Madeleine McCann belongs to the group called the "Mini Club" with children aged between 3 and 4 years and, she explains that the "Mini Club" group and the "Baby Club" are in the same building , close to the OCEAN CLUB's reception, the reason why the informant has been personally in contact with the missing minor.

The informant states that it was usual during "siesta time" which is approximately between 9am to 10.30am and between 2.30pm and 3pm, for the informant to get involved at the "reception" for children in her group but also for her colleagues, given that the children she was looking after were sleeping. She also went over to the "Mini Club" to participate more closely in some activities with the children there.

The informant states that on two definite days, those being Sunday April 29th and Thursday May 3rd, the informant was personally in contact with Madeleine McCann, reading stories to her and speaking with her.

And so, the informant describes Madeleine McCann as being an intelligent child, shy at first but once she gets to know the people she is with, she talks normally for her age and stays calm.

The informant adds that Madeleine was usually called "Maddie" given that it was under that name that Madeleine introduced herself to the informant, the shortened form of her first name.

On May 3rd, towards 10.15pm, while the informant was working for the “Mini Club” group in the “Dinner time,” service, together with her colleagues Jackie and Amy, a woman she did not know, but who must have been a tourist, went to their building asking if they were aware of the disappearance of a child called “Maggie” or Maddie.

Questioned about “dinner time” the informant states that the company’s childcare offers parents the free service of leaving their children in the care of crèche leaders during dinnertime between 7.15pm and 11pm.

With the confirmation that a female child had disappeared and, on the basis of the name the woman had given them, they guessed that it must be Madeleine, for which reason Amy telephoned her boss, Lyndsay, who informed them of Madeleine’s disappearance. The procedure for “searching for a lost child” was put into action. It was an organised search in different areas of the company concerned.

Thus, the informant participated in that search in a team with her Colleague Amy and, they covered various areas of the company, which were assigned to them. In covering the area backing onto the residences where Madeleine, the twins and the parents were staying, she could see that, in the meantime, there were various people in the apartment without being able to say if they were friends or employees. She was involved with the searches until 1.30am (May 4th 2007) and she then went to her own place.

In the searched that she carried out together with her colleagues, other people participated (tourists, company employees). Later, without being able to say what time, she stated that the police were on the spot and that they set up the measures for this type of situation. The informant states that the search by members of the OCEAN CLUB ended at around 4.30am on May 4th 2007, without result.

To our question, the informant states that she had very little contact with Madeleine and only as a nanny present in the neighbouring room. She did not know the routines of the child or her parents and she did not notice any situation that she found strange concerning the missing child during the time she worked in Portugal.

The informant adds that Madeleine was usually dropped off at the crèche at 9.15am and that the parents dropped the twins off afterwards.

To our question, the informant reports that she has no knowledge of any situation that she suspects could be linked in any way, directly or indirectly to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

She has nothing more to add. After reading in the company of the translator who explains to her, she goes on and signs.

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