Shannon's mother remanded by court

The mother of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the youngster's disappearance.

The mother of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the youngster's disappearance.

Karen Matthews, 32, of Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, faced accusations of child neglect and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Matthews was arrested charged with the offences on Tuesday night and has now been remanded in custody until 16 April.

The details of the child neglect charge state that she “wilfully neglected or abandoned” Shannon “in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to her health”, between 18 February and 15 March.

The second charge states that Ms Matthews “repeatedly concealed information in relation to the whereabouts of Shannon Matthews in interviews and other contacts with officers with the West Yorkshire Police and claimed to have no knowledge of her whereabouts.”

Michael Donovan, 39, of Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, is accused of abducting Shannon, who vanished on 19 February and was found 24 days later.

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He faces charges of kidnap and false imprisonment and a provisional trial date for him has been set for 11 November.

Mr Donovan, who was formerly known as Paul Drake, is the uncle of Shannon's stepfather Craig Meehan.

He was arrested by West Yorkshire Police after Shannon was found at his flat on 14 March.

Mr Meehan's sister, 25-year-old Amanda Hyett, and his mother Alice Meehan were also arrested on Friday.

Ms Hyett was questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender while Ms Meehan, 49, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Both were released on police bail.

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