Sunday, October 26, 2008

To neglect or not to neglect

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26 October 2008

McCanns fury over 'neglect'


By Marc Baker

Missing Maddie McCann's furious parents have vowed to sue a lawyer who suggests they are guilty of child neglect.

Anthony Bennett, 61, is urging the Government to bring in a "Madeleine's Law" making it a criminal offence to leave children under 12 on their own.

His website attacks doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41, over the disappearance of Maddie, now five, from their holiday flat in Portugal last year.

McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Our lawyers are watching him. They are constantly monitoring his claims, which we consider are libellous."

A legal source close to the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said: "They are more than annoyed and deeply offended. They say enough is enough. All they are trying to do is get their daughter back."



Neglect is the persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love, stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education and medical attention. It can have a serious effect on a child's physical, mental and emotional development. For babies and very young children, it can be life-threatening.

The signs of neglect

There are occasions when nearly all parents find it difficult to cope with the many demands of caring for children. But this does not mean that their children are being neglected. Neglect involves ongoing, severe failure to meet a child's needs. Here are some signs of possible neglect:

if the child seems underweight and is very small for their age
if they are poorly clothed, with inadequate protection from the weather
if they are often absent from school for no apparent reason
if they are regularly left alone, or in charge of younger brothers or sisters.

"A neighbour works full time and seems to be leaving her children alone during the day. Is this neglect?"

There is no UK law stating the age at which a child can be left at home alone. However, parents can be prosecuted for wilful neglect if they leave a child alone or unsupervised "in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health" (Children and Young Persons Act 1933). Your neighbour may be having difficulties finding childcare. Perhaps the family is isolated and lacks the support of relatives and friends? As a neighbour, could you offer help with contacting local support services or with childcare? See People to talk to for organisations that offer childcare advice.

Babies should never be left alone, even for a short time. If you notice that a baby or a child under the age of nine has been left on their own, contact the police on 999. They will go to the house to make sure that the child is safe from harm.

Before leaving an older child alone, parents must take into account the child's age and maturity, their ability to cope in an emergency and how they feel about being left alone.
Most children under the age of 13 are not mature enough to cope in an emergency and should not be left alone for more than a short time.

We recommend that children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight.

NSPCC Helpline
Tel: 0808 800 5000


mandarinn said...

Any dout there Maddie and the tBjs Claudia , wins was negelected in PD
L? :O
Bjs Claudia. Hope your neighbour being as well as possible

Cláudia said...

Not to me, Mandarinn!
Not looking good, Mandarinn. But thank you for asking.
Beijinhos e saudades!

Anonymous said...

the tapas 6 did also neglect their children,they were lucky anything bad happened!
Claudia from Berlin

Cláudia said...

Hallo, Claudia aus Berlin.
Danke Schön.
I agree. They were just luckier.

Anonymous said...

They all should be accused of neglecting their children!

Clarence Mitchell tries to bully anyone who has a different opinion from the McCanns...

Good work claudia
Proud of the PJ also...

Cláudia said...

Well, anon, they all left them alone. But got luckier. Only Madeleine 'disappeared'.
Thank you anon.

Outono said...

...""They are more than annoyed and deeply offended. They say enough is enough. All they are trying to do is get their daughter back." ...."


Are they?

And what can we say about them?(os mcpatéticos e afins)

Anonymous said...

Olá Claudia

nada que o Tony não estivesse à espera! E o livro sai daqui a 2-3 semanas, nada o vai demover



Ambersuz said...

Hey Claudia :)

I think Tony will laugh at this news when he gets back tonight!

What are they complaining now for? They admitted neglect when they said the children were left alone for 6 nights!

Susana x

Cláudia said...

Outono, and I bet they find this hurtful and unhelpful too. I would even add outrageous and ludicrous! ;-)
Beijos, Outono!

Cláudia said...

Paulinha, claro! :-)
Muita força para ele!

Cláudia said...

Ambersuz, he probably will.
I would love to know what he thinks about this.
Besos, Susana!

Ambersuz said...

Claudia.....i'll let you know later :)

Its amazing that CM hasnt mentioned the booklet in this article isnt it?

I mean they all knew this petition has been around forums and blogs for months and now the details of the 60 reasons are out and on show they find the excuse to attack him for the petition?

The petition is to protect children!

Cláudia said...

Ambersuz, well from time to time Mr Ludicrous has to say something stupid. Don't forget that's his job. :-)
They probably don't get it. After all, what do they konw about protecting children?

Charlotte said...

As a retired solicitor I’m sure Tony Bennett is well aware of libel and has checked and rechecked his sources before placing anything on the Madeleine Foundation site.

Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down via the Sunday People newspaper it seems there is only three ways forward:

1. The McCanns can gently back out and blame the newspaper for ‘misinformation’ (and possibly sue them at a later date to prove a point – as they do)

2. The McCanns will ignore the statement in the newspaper and allow it to die back without any more fuss

3. The McCanns will go ahead with court action in the belief that Mr Bennett will settle out of court.

It seems the McCanns have gained a reputation for being money orientated so it seems unlikely that they will knowingly back a losing horse especially as they have hired renowned solicitors who can advice them what is and what is not a winning horse. Therefore, it is my belief that if they do go ahead with the apparent libel threat then perhaps Tony Bennett is the dark horse they may have underestimated and are unprepared for?

Just a thought.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Charlotte.
Thank you for your very interesting post and ideas.
I think Mr Bennet was probably expecting something like this to happen. And I don't see him settling out of court at all. I don't see any individual doing it. So it would be interesting to see if they proceed. But then again, Mr Amaral has been threatened in July. We are now close to the end of October. And we all know what Mr Amaral has been saying since then.
Thank you for your comment, Charlotte.

Ambersuz said...

I'm sure many of the public were very annoyed by CM implying that British Citizens, had a
cultural habit of leaving their children unsupervised and unprotected.

Did anyone threaten to sue him ?

I would love to see Mr Bennett in court with them and Mr Amaral and Mrs Fenn as witnesses haha

Cláudia said...

Hi, Ambersuz.
If I was British I would be pretty pissed off with Mr Ludicrous for suggeting that what the McCanns did during their holiday is common behaviour among british people. It is not a cultural thing and he knows it damn well. He was just doing his job: damage control. But it would be interesting to see someone try to sue him.
But the scenario you just suggested would be a lot more interesting! :-)

Ambersuz said...

Claudia, as always this ridiculous bunch only come out of their rabbit holes to spin away some other piece of news they are worried about....

I said earlier they know the booklet is due to be released...and they must have seen the amount of people already ordering it so they spin this nonsense today...

OK now look at this letter and reply in July to the McCann lawyers...they knew about the Foundation and they dismissed it....

Cláudia said...

Ambersuz, exactly.
That link says it all...

helmylin2 said...

Hi Cláudia,

I bet Mr. Bennett just can't wait for the Mc Cann's to sue him. He is not about to settle out of court. Just my opinion. I'm sure he will have lots of interesting questions for the McCann's. I hope they do sue. Honestly I think they are afraid to call his bluff. Time will tell.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Helmylin2!
Agree 100%. Interestimg times ahead.
It's always good to hear from you! :-)

Niza said...

Olá Claudia. Poor mccanns "annoyed and deeply offended". Bo-uhhh. I cry for them!(Not!) Next mccanns tell they in room with Madeleine when she abducted!. Yes, they not in Tapas, that evil PJ decoy couple to try to frame them. They really be in room sleeping when Madeleine abducted. I surprise english trash papers not think of this one yet.

We normal people annoyed and deeply offended that they force us to know there be such disgust people like them with no remorse for actions in world. I not come here so much as before not because of your blog Claudia but because I get stomach pains most time I hear there name or see their sick fuças!

Niza said...

Helmy, olá to you. McCanns threat, threat but until today I not hear they actually sue nobody. Only supposedly Express and settle for little compared to what they possible win if go to court. Why avoid court? Why not want to answer questions?

Not sue Mr. Amaral over THE BOOK? WHY?
Not sue 24 horas, Sandra Felgueiras (excelent journalist, proud to be fellow countrywoman),tvi, rtp, correio da manha... not sue anyone in Portugal. Why?

I not believe they sue Mr. Bennet. I think if they try, he find himself with many allies and many interesting questions be asked.

But those who not ask to reopen investgation and not ask British police to investigate disappearance of little girl, not seem very interested in have interesting questions ask in court... not part of "strategy" it appears.

Cláudia said...

Olá, Niza!
Oh my, I missed you! :-)
Great post! :-)
Beijos e saudades!!!

Cláudia said...

Another great post, Niza.
We have all missed you! :-)

Niza said...

Olá Claudia, thank you. Like I say, I not come so much because so sick of there lack of responsibility and in my opinion disrespect for there little girl. No one perfect. They make big big mistake, but at least be man and woman to admit error, not try to make as we people in world all stupid and they "annoyed and deeply offended" that people say they neglect children.

What they expect for leaving children alone and go out of apartment to eat dinner? They want best parents in world award? When I first hear story of little tourist girl had disappeared because mother and father go to dinner and leave alone,I think, stupid tourists! What idiot parents go out and leave small child? I not know there be 2 other children even younger.
ANd they want applause? They want fame or bowing? From me, most they get be one of my fingers. I think you imagine which.

Cláudia said...

LOL I really missed you!
Hey, they get my finger too. And I think I can safely say and in both our cases it is the middle one! ;-)

viv said...

Hiya Claudia

Well I think just like Goncala Amaral, Mr Bennett will be waiting and waiting and hoping and hoping for the libel writ to arrive. They so want to get the McScams in court to explain themselves, but so far they have not wanted to go.

But we know it will never happen so why do the McScams keep threatening everyone with court when they themselves are so terrified of such places?

I always think it makes you look a big fool to keep making threats you never intend to carry out. How do they expect people to believe in them? Kate promised she would take a lie detector test to prove her innocence but when given the chance at no cost to herself, came up with so many reasons why she changed her mind. If Kate was an innocent mom who never neglected or harmed her children she would have jumped at the chance, but she knows what she is, just the same as we do! Um ahh well you know er..

Please take care whilst you are looking after your neighbours and get some me time, unlike some you really deserve it!

Luv Viv xxxxxx

helmylin2 said...

Olá, Niza.

Let's all give them the finger!!


Cláudia said...

Hi,Viv, darling!
I completely agree with you. I would love to see them sue Mr Amaral. He's been doing his best, but up until now, nothing.

Thank you, Viv. We are now making contacts to solve some practical problems. He is still in hospital because he wouldn't eat or drink. Let's see if he is discharged soon or if they keep him a couple of days. We are currently making contacts to see what the best alternive is after he is discharged.

Cláudia said...

Helmylin2, let's! ;-)

helmylin2 said...

Hi Cláudia,

We woke up to a light dusting of snow here in Nelson. A glorious morning, the sort of morning that makes you feel that all is right in the world. Not a cloud in sky and we are up to 2 degrees C. now.

It is the sort of day that makes me feel just maybe justice will be done for Madeline.

Sorry to ramble.

Carol said...

It's a wonderful thing you are doing for your elderly neighbours Claudia (I read about it on Viv's blog).

Take care of yourself.


Cláudia said...

Hi, Helmylin2.
Wow, I envy you. I love snow. And it hasn't snowed here (I mean really snow) for more than 10 years. I miss it so much.
I perfectly understand how it makes you feel. May it come true.

Cláudia said...

Thank you, Carol.
They are very important people to me. A lot more than neighbours. And one day I may be the one in need.

Anonymous said...

A ten-year-old would know better than to leave three infants under 4 in an unlocked hotel bedroom!

Even if they didn't kill Madeleine by their own hand, their neglect could easily have led to her death (either through making her vulnerable to abduction, or some other way, such as Madeleine wandering off and drowning in a pool).

As the American social worker famously said of this case, the McCanns are "culpible for Madeleine's disappearance". I would argue that it follows then that if Madeleine is dead (as a result of being abducted) her parents are culpible for THIS too.


My personal belief is that the McCanns should have been charged with neglect right from the start.

The problem is that the law is very specific about what it does and does not consider "neglect". Morally, the McCanns neglected Madeleine, but did they "neglect" her technically speaking? This is hard to say but so far, no-one seems willing to throw the book at them.

Finally - so sick and tired of these two threatening to "sue" every man and his dog! Haven't they made enough money out of their daughter's disappearance already? When is someone going to sue THEM for being such shit parents?????

Cláudia said...

Anon, absolutely.
And there are many people who think like you, anon.

viv said...

Hi Claudia

I would like you to know that I am very much against the oppressive conduct of Kate and Gerry McCann towards Goncalo Amaral which can only be seen by the public, IMO, as an attempt to do what they have always wanted to do, cash in.

They may have a legal case in the strict sense of the word, but they most certainly do not have a moral one.

I wish him the best of luck in opposing them, they never did deserve to cash in or try to blame police officers for what they themselves are responsible for.

Good to speak to you on MM forum.

Viv xx

Cláudia said...

Hi, Viv.
The law exists so all the parties can 'use' it. It doesn't exist for the McCanns only. Mr Amaral's Publisher and the Production Company are well aware of that, if you know what I mean. ;-)
Interesting times ahead, I predict.
Good to speak to you too.

viv said...

Hiya Claudia, well yes I think there are some interesting times ahead and the McCanns are not going to have it all their own way.

It is interesting to look back to our comments way back in Oct 08 waiting for the libel writ to arrive. It is just like the Daily Express, why did they wait, there can be only one answer to that.

But on MM I just suggested maybe there is another, whilst they figure out how to extract the cash without having to go to court. That can always be a troubling one!

The book is all over the world and they are going to look like utter fools, cash grabbers, it serves them right!


Cláudia said...

Hi, Viv,.
I don't think they will ever get a cent from Mr Amaral without a long, hard court battle.