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The Media, the Twist and the Investigation

Madeleine’s Grandad: ‘It’s A Farce’
Sep 7, 2007

Madeleine McCann’s grandfather has told Sky News that he is distraught that his daughter, Madeleine’s mother Kate McCann, has been questioned as an official suspect in the four-year-old’s disappearance. Brian Healy said it was ‘disgusting’.

Transcript

Reporter

What do you know about what Kate is thinking, feeling about the kind of direction this inquiry is taking.

Brian

Inaudible…The thing is Kate and Gerry are not involved and the stuff must have been planted there, you know the DNA is there, its just unbelievable.

Reporter

What you think, you think that someone may have deliberately?

Brian

Well, the perertrator or someone else has put it there, because I know Kate anfd Gerry would not harm Madeleine at all.

Reporter

And you think someone may have planted DNA to try and implicate them?

Brian

Yes, Ithink so.

Reporter

Is it possible that Kate with her medical background ,might have, wanted to help Madeleine to go to sleep that night?

Brian

Not at all.

Reporter

Even out of kindness, she she certainly would not have given her….

Brian

Not even out of kindness, I think they may have used Calpol like most mothers do….(inaudible). first and foremost they would’nt have done that.

Reporter

What effect is it having Mr.Healy on the family generally, particularly the way things are going in Portugal?

Brian

Um well, my sister in law had a collapse the other day it might have been pressure, it might have been tension, I dont know. Its affected all of us. My sister from Canada rang today, she is so upset , she has not been to bed all night.

Reporter

How about you? cause you ‘ve not been well have you?

Brian

Well, I think its err I’m just horrified ,that anyone could even think that my daughter would do such a thing. I know she has’nt done anything to harm Madeleine. ,Gerry the same, its just devastating to hear people would even think it.

Reporter

Whats your view of the Portuguese Police now and the way the Investigation has been conducted.

Brian

We’ve been through weeks and months, we’ve been very supportive of the Portuguese Police. I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’M not that happy.

Reporter

You say for weeks you’ve been supportive but you don’t feel that way anymore?

Brian

No, I am beginning to doubt. When people have tried to bad mouth the Portuguese police we have always shied away from it, but I don’t care any more.

Reporter

So, what are your views now with the Portuguese police?

Brian

Well, I dont want to say too much. I’m not happy with them, lets put it that way.

Reporter

Your clearly concerned about the way ….

Brian

Yes

Reporter

Do you feel that they will not now get the level of support they have had from the family thus far?

Brian

Well, they’ve already taken eleven hours of support away by interviewing Kate, for that time why were’nt they out looking for Madeleine, or doing something?. This is just a waste of time …a farce…it would be a joke if it was’nt so disgusting.

Reporter

Why do you think they have taken this course?

Brian

I don’t know. I just say one thing ,in Faro airport. I never saw one poster of Madeleine . They are concerned about the tourist industry, you know, they, Philly McCann and a friend of hers were bodily escorted out of the airport one time…(inaudible). They are terrified that their tourist industry is going to be hit.

Reporter

You think that they fear that all of this will affect their tourist industry?

Brian

I think they just want Kate and Gerry out of their country and close it all down.

Reporter

Now Kate and Gerry were planning to return this week-end were they not?. Whats the latest on that?

Brian

Inaudible…I don’t know , we will have to wait and see.

Reporter

What do you think will be going through Kates mind now, because she’s been very supportive too, publicly at least, towards the Portuguese Police ?

Brian

I don’t know,. I think she will be bewildered and be horrified that anyone can even think that of her, you know.

Reporter

What would you say to her if she were with you now?

Brian

I’d just hug her to death

Reporter

Do you want a break? are you O:K:?

Brian

No, No…I just want to hug her to death. She is so unprotected over there…you know..

Reporter

How do you get through it?

Brian

Well,funny enough I sleep well of a night. I don’t spend an hour without thinking about Madeleine. Sometimes, I go down dark roads, othertimes you know, tend to forget about her and it gets easier …and then suddenly, it hits you and like someone kicking you in the stomach…you know…

Reporter

Do you believe that Madeleine will be found?

Brian

Well, according to Gerry he’s seen stuff that we have’nt seen and theres nothing as yet to suggest that she’s dead. We have got to believe that she’s alive.

Reporter

What is it like for you, as a father of this woman, to hear accusations about that she may have played a part in the Madeleine disappearance?

Brian

It’s unbelievable, disgusting and obscene. My daughters not like that , I know her.

The Media, the Twist and the Investigation

The Portuguese Police in the Letters of Rogatory, wanted Brian Healy to be interviewed and asked the following questions:

Brian Healy was interviewed by Sky News on the 7th September 2009 where he speaks about Calpol his words were and the video can be viewed here:

Reporter

Is it possible that Kate with her medical background ,might have, wanted to help Madeleine to go to sleep that night?

Brian

Not at all.

Reporter

Even out of kindness, she she certainly would not have given her….

Brian

Not even out of kindness, I think they may have used Calpol like most mothers do….(inaudible). first and foremost they would’nt have done that.

A report was then put out in the Sun (removed from online – but here is screenshot of article) newspaper where Brian Healy was supposed to have said this:

The bit in brackets (to help her sleep) is not what Brian Healy said in that Sky Interview, if the Sun used the Sky Interview to write their piece which I suspect they did then it is a blatant attempt to lure their readers into thinking that Brian Healy admitted that Kate may have used Calpol.

And for the speculation that the Police were possibly helping the McCanns I suspect Brian Healy was too ill to be interviewed and a Police doctor would have certified that he was not fit to be interviewed.

I am disgusted at the British Media for twisting a statement made by an ill man into something it never was and for the Portuguese to eventually be led up the garden path by asking a question that was totally wrong.  Brian Healy, if that is the Interview to the media that the PJ were referring to, never said she gave Madeleine Calpol to help her sleep.

My conclusion is that they (The Sun) are referring to the interview from Sky News as Brian Healy also said this in the interview:

When people have tried to bad mouth the Portuguese police we have always shied away from it,

And the worst part is they quote Brian Healy nearly word for word but then add their little twist out of it.  For instance

He said:

No, I am beginning to doubt. When people have tried to bad mouth the Portuguese police we have always shied away from it, but I don’t care any more.

The Sun Reported:

“When people have bad mouthed them we have always shied away from it. But not now – we don’t care.”

He said:

it would be a joke if it was’nt so disgusting.

The Sun said:

“It would be a joke if it wassn’t so horrific.

And thanks to Carana who picked up on this:

Sedatives. The Police went so far as to consider the hypothesis that the death of Madeleine had been caused by an overdose of sedatives. From Kate’s diary can be inferred her difficulties in controlling the child, “hyperactive” according to the mother. Kate’s father went so far as to speculate in public (albeit to deny it) with that possibility. It was also published that after the birth of the twins, Madeleine was subjected to treatment to control jealousy and the doctors prescribed tranquilizers. The track of the pills also faded away, although the twins slept like as angels in the presence of 40 people the night in question.

Taken from an El Mundo article called Disappearance: The Mystery Uninterred:A Confused Year Without Madeleine.

I take it, this part:

Kate’s father went so far as to speculate in public (albeit to deny it) with that possibility.

relates to the interview Brian Healy did outside his home to Sky News, which the Sun twisted so out of proportion.

Forums myths, that are still ripe today as they were back then…. don’t you love them.. Absolutely NOT, because myths are just that myths they are NOT facts.  And there is no evidence whatsoever that Madeleine was on tranquilizers, given Calpol Night (which by the way was not even on the market back in May 2007) or any other medication.

[divider]

The truth about the CALPOL

Just reading part of Gerry McCanns arguido statement on the 7th September 2007 in which he states this.

When they travelled on holiday to Portugal they brought several medicines, namely Calpol, Nurofen, for fevers and pains, both for adults and children, Losec for gastric problems that he occasionally suffers from, and an anti-histamine called Terfenadine, for hay fever. He did not give any of these medicines or any others to the children while on holiday in Portugal.

So with regards to the children he said he never gave them any medication during their holiday.  On forums and blogs people have said about the McCanns sedating their children with Calpol and even in the book written by Goncalo Amaral he states this:

It is only three months later that Kate speaks about this possibility, suggesting that the police proceed with these tests. The National Institute of Forensic Medicine let’s us know that before proceeding with this screening, they would need to know what type of sedative they were looking for. There are hundreds of them on the market. While the grandfather stated on television that Kate gave Calpol to the children to get them to sleep, several months have gone by since May 3rd. Kate, who is a doctor, must be aware that the time for obtaining convincing results has largely passed.

So what about these medicines that Gerry mentioned, well Calpol and Nurofen are regularly given to children, and as the twins were only 2 years old I suspect these were taken as a precaution as there they still could have been teething and cutting their back teeth, which ultimately can lead to children having earache and a temperature.

But I found an interesting article dated 2005, 2 years before the McCanns went to Portugal, the article is from the Telegraph in which it states this:

Terence Stephenson, professor of child health at Nottingham University, believes their use by parents may be misguided.

“Paracetamol doesn’t have any sedative properties whatsoever and neither does Nurofen,” he says. “It’s a widespread misconception that Calpol helps children to sleep. Doctors used to prescribe antihistamines to help children sleep, but not any longer.”

Although these products may not be as effective as soporifics as parents might hope, Prof Stephenson doesn’t believe that they are in any way harmful. The two main theoretical risks – that they may mask the symptoms of a more serious medical problem, and the possibility of overdose – are, he believes, slight. “Most parents are assiduous and careful observers of their child. They would be careful to note if they were deteriorating or had developed a rash. There are very few examples of children being overdosed by over-the-counter remedies.”

The dosage for children aged one to six is one to two 5ml spoonfuls of the Calpol suspension up to four times a day. For three to 12-month-old babies, it is one to two 2.5ml spoonfuls. A 5ml dose contains 120mg of paracetamol, compared with 500mg per tablet in adult Panadol.

“I’ve never seen an overdose of Calpol,” says Dr Wayne Lenney, a consultant paediatrician. “The only liquid overdoses in children occur when teenagers drink too much alcohol.”

Then we have the other medicines well one of them was Terfenadine which  is now only available on prescription and also Losec, which I assume again is only available on prescription.

So we have Professor Stephenson saying they (Calpol and Nurofen) are not sedatives and do not aid sleep and Dr Wayne Lenney saying he has never seen an overdose of Calpol. You see who do we believe, a policeman who is not medically trained or a Professor and Doctor that are and also independent of the case?

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8 comments on “The Media, the Twist and the Investigation

  1. I get the impression that the LP must have tried to explain to the PJ that there really wasn’t anything to clarify. 

    From : D/Insp. Mick GrahamDept : Major Crime UnitTo : Frances Kennah UKCADate : 9th May 2008Subject : Madeleine McCann (Operation Task)This report is the initial response to the requests contained within the International Letters of Request submitted by the Portuguese Authorities in respect of the Investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This first submission of documents comprises of a total of 30 witness statements.First Letter of Request – dated 23rd January 20081. Page 41 (PJ Ref I) Interview of Brian HEALY – As discussed with the PJ, Mr Healy was suffering from health problems and the decision was reached that he will not be interviewed. This has been recorded as a policy decision.(…)

  2. Morning Carana, I sorted out the layout… Wish disqus would rectify this issue.

    Yes it reads like that to me, that they discussed it with the PJ and perhaps after getting to the truth of the Calpol incident, the PJ decided that there really wasn’t anything for him to be interviewed on.

  3. Thanks for sorting out formatting, Bren. 

    I expect Rebelo’s team was trying to clarify potential loose ends (At some point I did post  a pic of the Sun’s Calpol article being picked up by a PT tabloid – it’s actually in the files somewhere). 

    And it only required actually listening to what Kate’s dad actually said to realise he was talking about paracetamol for small children (which LP officers with children no doubt give their own children when needed.)  

    The dad suffers from poor health, answered truthfully to the Sky reporter, obviously stressed about the whole situation and the Sun et al., find nothing better than to distort what he said out of all proportion.

    And don’t tell me tabloid journos didn’t know what Calpol was. That tabloid journos would sell their grandmother for a small cheque isn’t new, but why on earth would an ex-coordinator keep alluding to the idea that her parents may have sedated her?  Didn’t he get anyone to check the original Sky interview? 

  4. I found it Carana

    It is disgusting the way they embellished this story.  It was a non starter right from the word go.

    Brian Healy NEVER mentioned anything about using it to make them sleep whatsoever.  And as you say the Sun sunk to new levels to try and twist the facts.

    I bet it will be hard to find a parent that has not used Calpol or something similar especially when babies are teething or have high temperatures.

    Of course tabloid journos knew what Calpol was, but it didn’t suit their purpose at the time.  Remember all these journos were falling for the bait of bodily fluids in the hired car and Madeleine’s DNA found.

    As you say surely an ex-coordinator would have got his team to check the facts out… ah but doing that would have meant his theory would be trashed.

  5. I remember Carana, we went through all this before on this thread

    http://regretsandramblings.com/2011/07/03/calpol-and-nurofen-on-the-mccann-holiday/

    and you even found the articles to prove Calpol Night was not even out at the time of the McCann’s holiday.

  6. So we did 😉

    I guess there’s nothing to do about adults who read tabloid headlines on stands while buying petrol and assume that it reflects reality. 

    Trying to be constructive: I think that news analysis should be part of the school current affairs curriculum.

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