Scotland Yard Review – And Its Importance

There are some people that condemn the Government for asking Scotland Yard to review the evidence in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.   They say £3.5 million is too much to waste.  But if this was your child missing, wouldn’t you feel that money doesn’t matter, you just want your child found?

It wasn’t until today that I started to pay full attention to the minute detail in the files about the sighting of a couple carrying a child at Lagos Marin at 5.55 am on the 4th May 2007, roughtly 7 hours after Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

On the 16th April 2008 Michael Wright stated this in his Rogatory Interview:

As for additional information I would like to add that on Sunday, 6 May I went to the pizzaria in PdL and bought a large quantity of pizzas. I was attended by a girl from Liverpool. I explained to her my relationship to the McCanns and she told me that her father ‘George’ had seen a man carrying a child in his arms in the early morning of 4 May in the resort. I asked her if her father would speak about this to the Portuguese authorities. I don’t know if the information was ever investigated.

The sighting  that Michael Wright refers to was reported to Leicestershire Police, by the family, as soon as he was told about this possible sighting,  as per this continuation witness statement.

On the 8th May 2007 the PJ received an email from a concerned citizen that stated the following:

I have followed the case in the press as I live in the Algarve. However my attention has been drawn by the news that an English citizen (George Burke) who returned to the village in the morning from Lagos and who says that he saw a couple with a child at about 06.00. Would this person not be suspicious due to being from the village and be returning 7 seven hours after the events? Please excuse my boldness and if I am bringing false accusations due to lack of information, I apologise again but feel that I have to share my preoccupation. I hope this does not make you lose time.

Good luck

Now from this we know that the daughter of the person who saw this couple told Michael Wright and he duly reported it to Leicester Constabulary and then an email was sent to the PJ with reference to the same inident.  What we don’t know is if the person sending the email is the daughter or not.

So what would you expect the PJ to do with this information?

I would expect the PJ to:

  • Take a statement from witness who spoke to the girl at the Pizza place
  • Take a statement from the person who sent the email
  • And if the person who sent the email is not the daughter of George Burke I would expect them to take a statement from the daughter.
  • Investigate this sighting as a matter of urgency
  • Take statement from George Burke as to what he saw and arrange for an e-fit to be done

Well I have checked the files and I can find no statement from the daughter, Michael Wright (other than his Rogatory interview taken in 2008), and the person who sent the email (if not daughter) or any statement from George Burke as to what he possibly saw.

However what I have found, is very interesting and it this.

There seems to be no other enquiries into this sighting whatsoever in the files conducted under the leadership of Goncalo Amaral.  I have searched the files for Burke, Brooks, Lagos Marina and I can’t find anything relating to the initial team asking for this sighting to be investigated further.  Maybe there is information somewhere in the files, but I am sure as hell can’t find it.

The inquiries conducted under the leadership of Paulo Rebelo were carried out on the 4th December 2007 (screenshot), that is 7 months after the alleged sighting, and two-four days short of the 7 months of it being reported.

And do you know what?

When they went to check this in December 07, a whole seven months after Madeleine’s disappearance, they spoke to an employee who stated that the whereabouts of the owner George Burke had not been known since the 21st September 2007 when he collected…….

No further information as to what further enquiries were carried out re this sighting as the following page is missing in the files.

And is this one of the examples that was mentioned in an Correio da Manhã  article dated 21st October 2007, as mentioned in a previous post on this blog called ‘A Catalogue of Errors’.

“important material spread all over, which had not been included in the investigation”

All I can say, if I am right and this sighting was ignored and the PJ did not trace this gentleman who saw this couple with a child,  thank god Scotland Yard are doing a review, maybe they can track this George Burke, as they do have a passport number for him, and find out exactly what he did see.


Many thanks to Maggs on JATYK for finding this article (screenshot) from the Daily Mail. The article states:

‘I saw Madeleine being dragged towards the marina,’ says new witness
Last updated at 10:11 28 November 2007

A British businessman has come forward and claimed that he saw Madeleine McCann only eight hours after she went missing as she was dragged towards a Portuguese port by a “suspicious-looking” man and woman.

The British expat, George Burke said he saw a girl who looked “remarkably like Madeleine” being dragged along a road leading to Lagos marina at 6am on May 4th.

Although Burke reported the sighting to Portuguese police at the time, it has taken until now for his account to be taken seriously, according to the McCanns’ private detectives, Metodo 3.

Mr Burke, who is originally from Liverpool but now lives in Portugal, said he saw the suspicious couple as he drove past the marina early on the morning after Madeleine went missing.

He told the Daily Mirror: “It was very, very dark and it was hard to make out exactly what the couple looked like. But through the gloom I could see a very suspicious-looking man and woman, with a child who fitted Madeleine’s description.

“Though there was nobody else on the road, they were hurrying across a road that leads straight to the train station and marina.”

The McCanns have said in the past that they believe that their daughter was taken by sea, possibly to Morocco or elsewhere in North Africa.

A source said: “The private investigators are now concentrating on Lagos and the marina.

“What Mr Burke saw could be incredibly valuable.

“He was concerned enough to call the police and they eventually followed up on his information.

“Now the investigators want to talk to Mr Burke. There is a strong chance Madeleine was taken by boat from the marina and is still alive somewhere.”

More from the Daily Mirror on The Maddie Case Files about this

Further communications between Ricardo Paiva and Paulo Rebelo


With thanks to Albym:

Processos 16,
Pages 4201-4202


To: Paulo Rebelo

From: Ricardo Paiva, Inspector

Date: 2008/04/24

Re: Various Activities Regarding the Investigation NUIPC 201/07.0GALGS

Regarding the content of the attached email from British Authorities, with particular focus regarding the deposition by Michael Terrence Wright, in the international letter of request which is being fulfilled by the Leicestershire Police, on the 6th of May, 2007, in Praia da Luz, a pizza kitchen worker, of British nationality and originally from Liverpool, commented to that witness that her father, GEORGE, had seen a man carrying a child, in the early hours of May 4th of 2007. He does not know if GEORGE contacted the authorities about this. This testimony was realised by Inspector Joao Carlos and myself as follows:

–Yesterday, after heading toward Praia da Luz late, we located the pizzeria shop (PIZZA REAL) cited by that witness. It is situated in kiosk on Rua da Praia. Even though it was closed at the time, we obtained the telephone number ********* of said pizzeria which is open from 18H00. This same night, we contacted the manager, CAROLINE, using that telephone number and she immediately identified the employee as AMY. She told us that AMY was no longer in Portugal and that she had returned to the U.K. She was asked to contact AMY and ask her to contact this police.

–Today, at 11J37, the signatory received a telephone call from *******, from a woman who identified herself as JULIE, mother of AMY, and who told me that as soon as possible, GEORGE, her husband, and May’s father, would contact us. Around 17H16, we were contacted by GEORGE, Amy’s father, from telephone no. *********. Regarding the facts in question, he states that he had already contacted the PJ in May of 2007 and at this time relayed to the police that at around 06H00 in the morning on the 4th May, 2007, he saw a couple passing the Marina de Lagos. The man was carrying the child. It was ascertained at that time that the aforementioned situation would not be of interest to the investigation.

Ricardo Paiva


26 comments on “Scotland Yard Review – And Its Importance

  1. Bren that sighting was reported sooner than that in the papers.

    May 5th it’s hit the  papers. http://themaddiecasefiles.com/post207343.html#p207343

    Also on May 7th

  2. Thanks for those links Cath.

    One article (the Express) said:

     Mr Burke said they told him not to tell the media what he had seen but he decided to break his silence to help to track down the kidnapper.

    Where the heck in this profile is all that info.

  3. Many thanks to Carana for finding this:


    The statements from George Burke and a Portuguese lorry driver were taken from previous stories which had been widely published in British and Portuguese newspapers

  4. Bren, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if the government is spending three million or three cents. The ghouls think it’s a waste because they know who dunnit. Those evil McCanns. And anyone else looking for Madeleine means they could be proven wrong when she is found. 

    • I have to agree with you. For the anti-Madeleine McCann ghouls this is now sadly not about the child but entirely about them proving themselves right because if they should (as they most certainly will) be shown to be wrong, they will be seen as some of the sickest individuals to have ever used keyboards. They clutch at every single word (no matter if it came from a forum myth, a disgusting media lie, a raving lunatic like Bret or some other perverted imagination). You can sense how their hate of the McCann parents is overpowering any decency within them and their desperation to be right allows them to follow those who are clearly either criminal liars like Goncalo Amaral or people with sentences hanging over their heads for their lies like Tony Bennett.

    • That is the trouble Megan, they don’t care about this child and if Scotland Yard found her, they would say the McCanns decided to call it a day because Scotland Yard were onto them and still continue on their campaign of hastred against the parents.

      @Anon you never said a truer word, honestly, the nastiness that comes from their keyboards is sickening.  Decency, it makes me wonder if they had any in the first place…. surely no sane person would carry on this way, would they? 

  5. When you follow this story through it is remarkable how badly the paperwork, lack of diligence and sheer incomptence reflects on the investigation team. Perhaps there is an explanation and we are missing much of the information for a good reason such as protecting someone. But if not then there should be a full inquiry and a few heads should probably roll.

    • Anon, I know we are not privy to conversations, meetings etc, but one thing I was always taught – write everything down – don’t hold it in your head.  If anything happened and you could not be there or was unable to attend meetings then others can’t step in your shoes.

      Especially when I worked for the Police, anybody could have taken a phone call about a certain case and unless the notes were in the files nobody would have a clue what had been done and what needed doing or what we were waiting for.

      • I have no doubt that many people worked to the point of exhaustion to try to find the child, but it seems they were trying to do their best in chaotic conditions. 

      • Yes Carana, and that is where the co-ordinator is worth their weight in gold… keeping things running smoothly.  

        Sorry that might sound sarcastic but the more I read about this Brooks sighting the more angry I am getting to think if that sighting was played down, like it seems it was, and it turns out to have been significant, that poor child might have been found the very next day and reunited with her parents.

  6. I’m not sure it was played down, but the available paper-trace certainly doesn’t make it clear whether it was followed through. 

  7. According to the paper trace it appears there was quite a considerable time lapse before any action.

    • True. Unless it was discounted by exchanges of faxes that then got lost. Even if that WERE the case, there’s still no paper-trace indication as to WHY it may have been discounted. There doesn’t seem to be anything (in the attempted reconstruction of what that lead was about) that says it was discounted as a result of exchanges with XYZ, or due to reasons laid out in X confidential document. 

      • And another thing, if there was no paper trail as to why that sighting was discounted, what would happen should those people involved in that case become incapacitated or can’t remember?

        Any subsequent review of the case becomes very hard, especially if they are trying to trace people and they have no contact details.

      • Or die.  Yes, agree. 

  8. Regarding the facts in question, he states that he had already contacted
    the PJ in May of 2007 and at this time relayed to the police that at
    around 06H00 in the morning on the 4th May, 2007, he saw a couple
    passing the Marina de Lagos. The
    man was carrying the child. It was ascertained at that time that the
    aforementioned situation would not be of interest to the investigation.So what is Paiva actually saying… the time of 6am does not fit the investigation therefore thought to be of no relevance?

  9. tendo-se logo na altura averiguado aquela situacao e verificado que a mesma nao se revestia de qualquer interesse para a investigacao

  10. If a report given less than 48 hours after the event of an  independent sighting of a couple with a child acting suspiciously and heading for a marina/station seen just fourteen hours after the disappearance of a similar aged child only five miles away is not significant then what would be a significant lead? What would it have taken to get the police interested in Madeleine in those first few days.

    • Less than that: only 8 hours after the alert was raised.

    • I would have thought any lead during those first 48 hours would have been checked thoroughly.  Local shopkeepers questioned to see if they saw anything. CCTV from train stations to see if these people got on a train. Delivery drivers in the area at the time. Refuse collectors, holiday companies, to see if anyone checked out that early.

      If these people did get on a train, where was their destination?  And an efit description made by George Brooks, if the sighting gets eliminated it does, but you check every  avenue before elimination.  And there must be paperwork, so where is it… I can’t believe it is held back, because if that was the case then Brooks/Burke evidence would not be in files.

      • I totally agree about most of your points, but were there CCTV cameras, let alone recordings, on train stations in PT? 

        Even though a certain family saw a man with a child in PdL, did the PJ ever request an e-fit at the time? Not as far as I know, or if one had been done, I can find no trace  in the files. 

      • I suppose it’s easier to accuse foreign governments of a conspiracy in refusing to hand over satellite images of an obscure seaside village than to admit that any existing CCTVs in the village hadn’t been checked in time. 

      • It does make you wonder at times.  I can’t believe that there is no paperwork re: this sighting (carried out under Amarals command).  Do you know what when I started to see through things, I thought maybe the spin was because of a nations pride.  

        You know how dare these people criticise our nation… they don’t live here, some might not have set foot in Portugal.. I thought it was pride that they didn’t want their nation and Police criticised.

        But now, I am not so sure, there are certain PT people who are prepared to see Rebelo criticised and one or two have even posted that he was brought in to shelve the case and nothing else, so could it be from the beginning that this has been one massive ass-covering propaganda campaign.

        Protect Amaral’s ass at all costs????

        If that sighting turns out to even have the slightest credence and it has been ignored, it is self-evident that Madeleine could have been back with her parents a lot lot sooner.

  11. Kate allegedly told how a friend of her aunt and uncle’s,  a psychic, had told her that she had had a strong vision of Madeleine being held on a boat  with a man in the Lagos Marina.
    Allegedly, between the 4th to the 8th of May 2007 they had gone to check and identified the boat named Sheewater, but did not recognize the man on board.
    Amanda Hart a psychic from St Albans whose PR Agent was once voted one of Britains ten most influential agents in UK, and Diane Lazarus from Swansea, whose husband is/was/ a legal aid Lawyer,has boasted how, she, Amanda was called upon to help out on the case in the very early stages.
    Amanda states she was in Portugal on the date of Madeliene’s birthday on the 12th May 2007.
    Amanda Hart had set up a web site Amber Connections days before Madeleine went missing and she also mentioned on the 13th to 15th of June 2007, she (Amanda) had seen a Dove again which meant Madeleine had found peace at last.
    Maybe the date 22nd of June should have been looked at by her.

  12. […] she managed to speak to Mr George Burke/Brooks who saw couple with a child in the early hours of the morning of the 4th May 2007 at Lagos Marina […]

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