"Mom kept girl on leash
Girl was drugged and probably kept captive on a leash in a 'wicked' plot hatched by her mother and another man to claim a newspaper reward for her recovery. -Thu, Nov 13, 2008 Reuters
LONDON - SCHOOLGIRL Shannon Matthews was drugged and probably kept captive on a leash in a 'wicked' plot hatched by her mother and another man to claim a newspaper reward for her recovery, a court was told on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Julian Goose said a looped strap tied to a roof beam at the West Yorkshire flat where she had been held for over three weeks was probably used to restrain the nine-year-old.
Mr Goose said her mother Karen called police on Feb 19 to say her daughter had not returned to her Dewsbury home from a school swimming trip, sparking a massive police hunt.
Mr Goose said Donovan had told police the plan was to release Shannon in Dewsbury Market and for Donovan to discover her.
He would then have claimed a newspaper reward, which had risen to 50,000 pounds (S$113,127) by the time police found Shannon in Donovan's flat, around a mile from her home, 24 days after she disappeared.
'The prosecution's case is that this plan was as dishonest as it was wicked', Mr Goose said. 'Karen Matthews was using one of her own children in her plan with Donovan to kidnap and falsely imprison her'."
Each day as you read the news, you sometimes come across news that shocked you beyond your belief! E.g. the monstrous dad in Austria that imprisoned his daughter and had many children with her and now this one!
Lessons for me are:
1. human mind can be very wicked and sicked. Sometimes for reasons totally beyond our rational mind can fathom. Sometimes for the very simple motivation of money!;
2. I am not sure why the need for the money, maybe it is to save lives or maybe it just for another round of beers or drugs or things that the defendants could have done without. It is often the latter that make the wicked deed that much more despicable and regrettable. Committing something evil to enjoy something evil!;
3. the victim must be provided with help and sensitivity after this ordeal. When tragedy struck, helps must be on hand to rescue and recover. It will be meaningful to assist her to learn to trust human being again and that there are people who genuinely care about each other and not perform wicked deeds on each other.
It is a sobering tale that remind me no effort must be spared to remind us the right things to do and that while we should never harbor bad intention towards others, we must always guards others from doing bad things to us. The Chinese saying put it better: 害人之心不可有，防人之心不可无. That make life more challenging and complex but safer!