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Full article in Daily Express
Spot the difference:
A doctor who left his daughter of 3 to mind her younger twin siblings in an unlocked apartment while he went to a tapas bar with his wife, Dr Kate McCann, was given a police standing ovation and was not suspended from work.
Last night the case ignited a debate over when it is acceptable for parents to briefly leave older siblings home alone as carers.
Police found that the named healthcare professional, Dr Gerry McCann, left his children home alone together for just *cough* 30 minutes, even though a neighbour had heard the 3 year old babysitter crying for over an hour.
Although no valuables were taken and there was no “incident”, and the children were not believed to be in danger, except that the 3 year old babysitter was abducted leaving a trail of blood and cadaver behind the sofa and in the wardrobe and hire car, both doctors were cautioned by police officers for concealing the body of the 3 year old babysitter.
Dr Kate McCann has also not been suspended from her job but chose to give up work to manage their multi-million pound Fund, which has helped pay off their mortgage, and to write a book which will contain a "truthful account" of what happened to the 3 year old babysitter.
What questions must the McCanns' forthcoming book answer? - A chance for us all to ask the McCanns to clear up lots of unanswered questions
Letter to Transworld from The Madeleine Foundation inviting the McCanns to answer 163 key questions in their forthcoming 'very truthful' book
50 facts about the Maddie case that the British media are not telling you
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Posted: 07/02/2011 by HLM in Madeleine McCann case
A MOTHER who left her son of 14 to mind his three-year-old brother while she went to the shops was given a police caution for “cruelty” and was suspended from work – The McCanns left all three of their children, the eldest being just three, home alone in an unlocked apartment in a foreign country for six nights in a row whilst they wined and dined with their pals.
Last night the case ignited a debate over when it is acceptable for parents to briefly leave older siblings home alone as carers – This is an issue that The Madeleine Foundation lobbied government on back in 2007. Requests for a determinate age of when it is safe to leave children home alone to be incorporated in to current legislation were rejected.
Police found that the un-named healthcare assistant left the brothers alone together for just 30 minutes. –According to a statement given by Mrs. Fenn, who resides above the apartment the McCanns holidayed in during 2007, the McCann children were home alone for a least 75 minutes one night of the holiday. Mrs. Fenn noted the time as one of the children, she presumed it to be Madeleine, sobbed for their daddy throughout that time.
Although there was no “incident” and they were not believed to be in danger, the mother was cautioned by officers for “committing an act of cruelty on a child or young person.” – It is a fact that an incident occured during the week the McCanns repeatedly left their three young children home alone. According to the McCanns their daughter was abducted. According to detectives investigating the case, Madeleine died in the apartment, possibly as a result of a sedative overdose or accident in her parents absence.
She has also remained suspended from her job in the Thames Valley since September 2009 because the caution is revealed under Criminal Records Bureau checks. – Gerry McCann was given compassionate leave following Madeleine’s disappearance, he returned to employment six months after Madeleine’s disappearance. He continues to work full time for the NHS as a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.
The woman, in her mid-40s, who is fighting for a law change and reinstatement, claims the system makes her “unemployable”. As well as being unable to pass a CRB check, the caution automatically bars her from working with children for 10 years.
This was despite her being taken off the barred list by the Independent Safeguarding Authority after a year-long social services probe produced a “glowing” report which confirmed her children were healthy and well looked after.
UK law fails to spell out when teenagers can look after their younger brothers and sisters but police can prosecute parents if they feel their actions put children at risk. – As stated earlier, The Madeleine Foundation lobbied the government regarding this matter back in 2007. Government stated that a determinate age written into legislation was not required.
The NSPCC advises that no child under 14 should be left home alone and no child under 16 should care for someone younger than themselves. – The McCanns left their three children, all under the age of four, home alone in an unlocked apartment for six nights in a row whilst they wined and dined with their pals. According to police investigation files, the three children were left for a least 75 minutes in an unlocked apartment for one evening of the holiday. Madeleine was in a distressed during that period. The McCanns confirmed that on the day of Madeliene’s disappearance she had asked them why they had not come when she and her sibling had been crying the night before; Kate McCann shrugged the comment off as a passing remark.
Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums and a mother-of-three, said: “Parents are left to rely on their own judgment but sometimes they will make the wrong call.” – Did the McCanns make the wrong call?
Consultant psychologist David Spellman, who works with children, said: “Fourteen-year-olds are very different from one another. – What would his thoughts be on three year olds?
Kids who probably shouldn’t be left alone are, but that doesn’t necessarily constitute neglect.” The crime reduction charity NACRO said that it was “outrageous” the healthcare assistant remained unable to work. – It is “outrageous” that the McCanns have not been charged with neglect.
Spokesman Tim Linehan said: “It demonstrates the double jeopardy of the system where someone has been removed from the barred list but a caution continues to come up on a CRB check and they risk losing a job as a result.
“One of the problems with cautions is that people don’t realise they are recorded as an offence and they go on a person’s record, which can be discovered when a CRB check is carried out.
“An employer who sees that someone has a caution may then exclude them from employment.”
In November two nurses who were barred from working with youngsters for leaving their own children unattended, had the bans overturned.
One had been barred for leaving an 11-year-old at home while she went to the shops. – The McCanns children were all under four.
The other, a male nurse, was cautioned after his wife briefly left their children alone without his knowledge. – The McCanns made a joint decision to leave their three children without adult supervison.
Both are now suing the Government for damages. – The McCanns have/are attempting to sue a number of people, those who challenged their account of abduction.
A source close to the healthcare assistant, who is married, said: “She feels she is dedicated to her family but because of this the system has effectively ended her career and made her unemployable.”
‘INTELLIGENCE AND MATURITY OF THE CHILD IS KEY’
PARENTS last night said there needed to be clearer guidelines over leaving children. – Absolutely
Charity officer Janet Cropper, 49, from Windermere, Cumbria, said she regularly left daughter Naomi, 16, home alone for brief spells from the age of 10.
She added: “I believe people need firmer guidelines. Naomi got to an age where she didn’t want to go to a childminder after school any more and she was very mature.”
Mother-of-three Vivienne Smith, 60, from Sale, near Manchester, said she left her son Paul, then 14, in charge of his five-year-old sister Zoe when they were growing up. She said: “Paul would arrive home from secondary school on his bike and Zoe would be brought home from primary school by another parent – a close friend.
“He would look after her for about an hour and make her tea until I returned from work. I didn’t think twice as he was a very responsible lad.
“There were never any problems and I didn’t feel I was letting anyone down.
“I think it boils down to the age of the children and the teenager’s intelligence and maturity.”
Is a child under the age of four mature enough to be left without adult supervision for at least 75 minutes in a darkened unlocked apartment situated next to a swimming in a foreign environment? According to the McCanns spokesman, leaving children in this manner is something all Brits do!
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