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Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

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Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by bristow on 15.09.12 1:15

Is Maddie the reason this girl was taken into care? Portuguese
police say her British parents were too drunk to look after her... but
the explanation could be more sinister




Not far from the Portuguese apartment
where Stephen Street and Colette McPartland live, their parked grey
Skoda has two stickers in its rear windscreen.

One reads: Protect My Baby — Drive With Care, the other: Baby on Board — Please Don’t Speed.
It’s
a noble sentiment, but for the best part of a fortnight, there has been
no child — baby or otherwise — anywhere near the vehicle.


Separated: Police released this picture of Scarlett being fed by a female officer after she was taken in to care

And if the Portuguese authorities get their way, that could remain the case for a very long time.
On September 4, the married couple’s two-year-old daughter, Scarlett, was taken into care.

On
that day, local police claim, the two English teachers — who have lived
in Portugal for the past five years — had been drinking so heavily that
Ms McPartland could not stand.
Their
child, meanwhile, had been left to run wild. At one stage, it is
alleged, it was only the intervention of a passer-by that prevented
Scarlett from running on to a busy road nearby.
As
a result, Scarlett was taken from the couple, bundled into a police car
and driven to the local police station, where she was found to be wet,
hungry and thirsty.

The parents were also taken to
the police station, but they were too drunk to speak properly,’ a
police spokesman said. ‘They showed absolutely no concern for her
welfare, so she was taken into care.’
Police
later announced that it could take up to six months to reach a decision
about the girl’s future, during which time she would remain separated
from her parents.
The story inevitably made headlines in Portugal and here in Britain — a shocking tale of parental negligence.

But, according to 42-year-old Mr
Street and Ms McPartland, 37, it is just that: a ‘tale’. And a tall one
at that. They claim the police version of events is a ‘fabrication’ and
that not only were they not drunk, but that at no stage did they abandon
their child.
‘Our daughter
is the centre of our lives and her welfare is what we are devoted to,’
they said in a statement. They went on to blame everything that happened
on ‘needless interference from an over-zealous police officer’.


Accused: The toddler's parents Stephen Street
and Colette McPartland, who have denied allegations that they abandoned
their two year old daughter on a Portuguese street while they went
drinking

They added: ‘All parents will understand that what was a happy family life has become a nightmare for us.’
While
some might be sceptical about their claims, a Mail investigation has
raised a number of serious questions about the sequence of events that
led to Scarlett being taken into care. Questions that may mean an
innocent child has been taken from her parents for no good reason at
all.
Witnesses from that
night say the child was never on her own — that she was by her parents’
side in Carcavelos, a small seaside town 15 miles west of Lisbon, when
the police arrived.
Further,
a number of sources have confirmed that Ms McPartland is pregnant with
her second child — casting doubt on suggestions that she had been
drinking heavily.
Portuguese
social workers investigating the child’s background are also understood
to have received glowing reports about the family from those who know
them.

'The police here don't like British families with kids'


So what could explain the reaction of the police that night?
The answer is certainly surprising: the unsolved mystery of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in Portugal’s Praia da Luz in 2007.
A
leader article published in Correio Da Manha, Portugal’s
largest-selling daily newspaper, days after little Scarlett was seized
pulls no punches in linking the two cases.
It
also highlights the sense of bitterness many Portuguese people feel at
the way its police force was denigrated in the wake of three-year-old
Maddie’s disappearance from the apartment in which she slept while her
parents, doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, ate in a restaurant nearby with
friends.
The article reads:
‘The Portuguese police, this time, didn’t “lose” a little English girl,
they found one dying of hunger and thirst, in Carcavelos, while her
parents, British and middle class, continued to drink merrily until they
were legless — so much so that they forgot their two-year-old tied to
her pushchair in the sun. The PSP (Portuguese police) rescued her from
death.’
The article continues: ‘What would the legendary British “snobs” say if this had happened with a Portuguese couple in London?
‘They
would refer to us again as a Third World country — and how the
Portuguese authorities, through laziness or incompetence, were incapable
of resolving the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance.
‘The
devastated McCann couple would once again be remembered as martyrs to
this strange Portuguese attitude towards abandoning one’s children while
enjoying oneself. The courage to abandon children appears to be a
characteristic English mania.



Links: Reports in the Portuguese press has likened the apparent neglect of Scarlett to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

‘This couple abandoned their
defenceless child — and the McCanns did the same. The difference is
slight. The girl in this story was left in her pushchair: Maddie was
left asleep while her parents enjoyed dinner out.’
While
it is tempting to interpret these words as tabloid grandstanding, some
people argue that the depth of the wounds left by the Madeleine McCann
case should not be dismissed lightly.
Indeed,
sources close to Mr Street and his wife are adamant the fallout from
the case has influenced the way they have been treated. As one relative
put it: ‘The Portuguese police do not like British families with young
children.’
It is a point echoed by a Portuguese waiter who witnessed the events.
‘Seeing
what I saw and reflecting on what’s happened, I do wonder if the police
haven’t been a little over-zealous because of what happened with
Madeleine McCann,’ he said.
‘Then
they were accused of doing too little too late. Maybe now they want to
be seen to be strict with parents they feel have neglected their kids
and have over-reacted.
‘I’m
sure that if they had been Portuguese and they were drunk, as the
police say, someone would have got hold of them and taken them back
home, and all this could have been avoided. It’s very unfortunate.’
From
the couple’s point of view, that is something of an understatement.
They moved to Portugal more than five years ago, after meeting in 2002
while working in Indonesia.
Mr
Street, the son of a retired police sergeant, had travelled to
Indonesia to indulge his passion for surfing, funding his trip by
teaching English. By chance, he ended up at a school in Jakarta — the
same one to which Colette McPartland had also applied for a job.
For
her, teaching ran in the blood. Her father, John, had taught for 30
years in the family’s home town of Middlesbrough, where he is a
well-respected Labour councillor.
Mr Street is from South Wales, but prior to travelling abroad had also been living in Middlesbrough.
‘I
remember we were talking outside the school and I couldn’t place
Colette’s accent,’ recalled Mr Street of that first meeting in the Far
East. ‘I asked where she was from and was completely taken aback when
she said Middlesbrough.’
Within
a year, the couple were planning their wedding and they married on
September 4, 2004. The plan thereafter was to move to Portugal, where Mr
Street could surf and the couple could enjoy the Mediterranean climate.

'A witness says Scarlett was nearly hit by a car'


They settled in Carcavelos, a town
close enough to Lisbon to find work teaching English, but which also
offers world-class surfing.
They had their daughter Scarlett soon afterwards, and the couple’s relatives say they doted on her.
‘They
are a lovely couple,’ said Mr Street’s father, Ray, from his home in
South Wales. ‘They are wonderful parents who idolise their daughter.’
He
said his son was not ‘a drinker’ and his daughter-in-law does not drink
‘for reasons I’m not prepared to say’. Those reasons are understood to
be that Ms McPartland is four months pregnant — news she shared with
friends on Facebook on August 27.
Yet
little more than a week later, if the Portuguese police are to be
believed, this mother-to-be was drinking herself to the point of
collapse.
The day in
question was the couple’s wedding anniversary when, according to
eyewitnesses, they arrived at a cafe called the Manhas do Chocolate in a
tree-lined square in the village at about 5pm.
Once
there, the Mail has been told, they were served three glasses of white
wine each, though in their statement the couple deny drinking at all.
The police version of events is that while her parents relaxed in the
cafe, Scarlett was allowed to play by herself by a busy road. A
passer-by saw this, ‘rescued’ the child, then called police.
Rui Vasconcelos was one of the police officers called to the scene.
He
said: ‘Before our arrival, the child was playing alone and a witness
said the girl was almost hit by a car. They placed the child in a baby
carrier and the girl started to cry, but the parents were in a “big
discussion”.




Critical: The Portuguese came under attack
following their investigations into the disappearance of Gerry and Kate
McCann's daughter

‘I spoke to them. The lady could not get up from the chair. She tried several times, but always fell.
‘The gentleman apologised and said that everything was OK. Then they shouted expletives.’
While
the couple’s condition is open to dispute — neither of them was
blood-tested or breathalysed — those in the vicinity that evening have
insisted the child was at no point abandoned by her parents.
Francisco
Fonseca, a waiter at a seafood restaurant 50 metres from the cafe,
said: ‘I saw the dad shortly before police arrived and he was with his
daughter trying to calm her down.
‘I
had heard her crying at the cafe and I believe he came across to where I
was working because the crying was upsetting customers there.
‘It was a bit of a strange situation, but the dad didn’t look drunk.
‘He
sat on the pavement outside the restaurant and stayed there, trying to
calm the little girl down while she remained in the pushchair. He didn’t
take her out of the pushchair, but he put his face close to her and was
caressing her face and hair as if he was trying to get her to stop
crying.
‘He must have sat
there with her for about 30 minutes, and it was shortly after he went
back to the cafe that the police arrived — probably about 8.15pm.’
Having been removed from her parents by the police, Scarlett was photographed being spoon-fed some soup by a female officer.
This
image, with the child’s face obscured, was subsequently released on the
police website with a report about what had happened.




New home: Stephen Street and Colette McPartland moved to Carcavelos, 15 minutes from Lisbon (pictured) more than five years ago

She was then taken to a nearby
emergency care home, where she has been ever since. The youngster’s
future now rests with a child protection unit, of which Esmeralda
Ferreira is in charge.
‘We’re working as quickly as possible to decide whether she’s to remain at the home,’ she said last night.
To
this end, social workers have conducted interviews with the creche
where she is cared for when her parents are working, and with the family
doctor and others who know the family.
According to sources close to the case, the feedback on Scarlett’s parents has so far been favourable.
Indeed,
they are said to be optimistic that the case will not drag on for the
six months that was initially suggested, and that the family could be
reunited in a matter of days.
In
the meantime, the couple have been paying daily visits to their
daughter, all of them supervised and observed. On one occasion they were
seen on the way there carrying a giant teddy bear.
‘The
trauma of the past few days has been unbearable,’ the couple said. ‘We
are praying that it will soon be over, and that normality will return.’
And so, no doubt, is their young daughter.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2203504/Is-Maddies-legacy-real-reason-little-girl-taken-care-Portuguese-police-say-British-parents-drunk-look-explanation-sinister.html#ixzz26UcIpjmr

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by tigger on 15.09.12 6:56

I'm now waiting for the Fund to be started up for little Scarlett so that she can get over the trauma occasioned by those nasty sardine munchers.

The parents were seen( by a bunch of hacks no doubt) carrying a giant teddy bear. No point in doing such things without being seen. puke

The DM is fast becoming a serious rival to the Sun. puke

It doesn't take much to divert attention from the Tia case, not to mention a host of others.


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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by PeterMac on 15.09.12 8:30

It always has to be a Giant teddy bear.
Why not a small one?

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by tigger on 15.09.12 9:07

@PeterMac wrote:It always has to be a Giant teddy bear.
Why not a small one?

You want all the photographers to get it - Ahhhh! Poor little mite....


On that photograph above of the other saintly couple, the McCanns, Kate looks like someone I wouldn't like to meet in a dark alley.

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by Guest on 15.09.12 10:28

[quote]

'The police here don't like British families with kids'


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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by ProfessorPPlum on 15.09.12 11:41

Notice how this story effectively questions the Portuguese Police's ability to judge whether someone is drunk or not. When you cut through all the detail, that's what the Mail is doing. The suggestion that experienced police officers cannot tell when a parent is too drunk to care for their child is outrageously stupid - but it is being sold to a stupefied population. And it's just like that other story - that an experiences police officer and his team were not capable of conducting an investigation into an alleged 'abduction'. The fact that the press continue to rubbish the standards, norms and people of other countries is disgusting too - but it doesn't surprise me. 'Feeling superior to' is what sells papers better than anything else in the UK.

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by jozi on 15.09.12 12:38

@ProfessorPPlum wrote:Notice how this story effectively questions the Portuguese Police's ability to judge whether someone is drunk or not. When you cut through all the detail, that's what the Mail is doing. The suggestion that experienced police officers cannot tell when a parent is too drunk to care for their child is outrageously stupid - but it is being sold to a stupefied population. And it's just like that other story - that an experiences police officer and his team were not capable of conducting an investigation into an alleged 'abduction'. The fact that the press continue to rubbish the standards, norms and people of other countries is disgusting too - but it doesn't surprise me. 'Feeling superior to' is what sells papers better than anything else in the UK.

Could this be the start of SYs whitewash er I mean findings, into the disappearance of Maddie ???

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by Guest on 15.09.12 14:44

This is simply a continuation of the British media's portrayal of the Portuguese police as incompetent sardine munchers who can't do anything right.

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by tigger on 15.09.12 21:05

Some comments in the DM:
Only 13 comments in total and the majority reasoned and anti DM spin. Hence the comments must have closed down early!
I am hoping that the saturation point of Maddie type stories has been reached, I particularly like the comment that just because they are teachers it doesn't mean they are good parents.
Best one is: HOW did the police etc.

"Further, a number of sources have confirmed that Ms McPartland is pregnant with her second child ¿ casting doubt on suggestions that she had been drinking heavily."------------Well that's a bit like saying a woman can't have been smoking because she is pregnant. No, pregnant women shouldn't drink heavily (or smoke) but some do.
- Julie , Leicester, United Kingdom, 15/9/2012 01:53
Click to rate Rating 252 Report abuse

Your comments:I do not for ONE moment beleive this as so many years have elapsed....If this had happened in the 2 years after Maddies loss i may have agreed ...but....PLUS the statement that Police do not like British with kids is rubbish... having spent time in Portugal I know they very family orintated, and my family have never had a problem
- beth1946 , cambridge, United Kingdom, 15/9/2012 01:44
Click to rate Rating 197 Report abuse

So exactly HOW did the police get hold of the child, if it was with the parents?
- bob , China, China, 15/9/2012 01:23
Click to rate Rating 364 Report abuse

The moral of the story is avoid Portugal. If they want to be a tourist destination they will have to do better than this to attract people. I certainly wouldn't feel safe there.
- Monkeymagic , Yokohama, 15/9/2012 01:22
Click to rate Rating 123 Report abuse

Having worked as a child protection worker I can guarantee you that we as well as police do not have time to sit down each morning and go through the phonebook and pick a person to persecute. I am sure it is a similar situation in Portugal. Yes the parents may think that they are "devoted to" their child and in their minds they are but plonking a kid in front of the Wiggles with a bowl of fruitloops or leaving her outside on her own is not devotion...
- Mrs Wright , Australia, 15/9/2012 01:17
Click to rate Rating 241 Report abuse

The Portuguese, like all Latin countries, come down very heavily on any kind of child abuse. When this couple get their daughter back they should make tracks back to the UK as their dream of an idyllic life in the sun has come to an end.
- wjajh , Nottingham, 15/9/2012 01:16
Click to rate Rating 195 Report abuse

I hope this teaches other parents to be vigilant while taking their children out to where they are having fun and maybe enjoying a drink or too............ The fact is that children get taken away and the authorities are rightly concerned that no other child should face the terrible plight of never returning home again because the parents were too concerned with enjoying themselves........... If the parents did start to swear or answer back aggressively then what the hell do they expect.........? And yes women still drink while pregnant and being teachers does not mean they are good parents.......... We have seen far too many parents in the papers leaving their young children alone or in need of care.................. Get over yourselves and grow up and look after that child!!!
- strangerthanfiction , London, 15/9/2012 01:14


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2203504/Is-Madeleine-McCann-reason-teacher-couples-girl-taken-care-Portugal.html#ixzz26ZRXeiNl

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by Guest on 20.09.12 12:14

According to this story, the family has now been reunited.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/347187/Portugal-couple-reunited-with-child

Interestingly the mother told her version of events to Daybreak, dear old Lorraine Kelly's programme. I presume that this reinforces the latter's opinion of the Portuguese police as useless sardine munchers.

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by winjoy on 20.09.12 12:25

Jean wrote:According to this story, the family has now been reunited.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/347187/Portugal-couple-reunited-with-child

Interestingly the mother told her version of events to Daybreak, dear old Lorraine Kelly's programme. I presume that this reinforces the latter's opinion of the Portuguese police as useless sardine munchers.

It strikes me that this is a golden opportunity to get our views of the McCanns on the Have Your Say facility - both comments there at the moment have done just that...

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by tigger on 20.09.12 13:42

@winjoy wrote:
Jean wrote:According to this story, the family has now been reunited.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/347187/Portugal-couple-reunited-with-child

Interestingly the mother told her version of events to Daybreak, dear old Lorraine Kelly's programme. I presume that this reinforces the latter's opinion of the Portuguese police as useless sardine munchers.

It strikes me that this is a golden opportunity to get our views of the McCanns on the Have Your Say facility - both comments there at the moment have done just that...

There are just two comments, both on our side so to speak, but it's unlikely we'll see any more of these. I'm sure there were a lot which didn't get through.
Daily Mail is the same, censoring the comments like mad.

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Re: Is Madeleines' legacy the real reason little girl was taken into care?

Post by winjoy on 20.09.12 19:35

@tigger wrote:
@winjoy wrote:
Jean wrote:According to this story, the family has now been reunited.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/347187/Portugal-couple-reunited-with-child

Interestingly the mother told her version of events to Daybreak, dear old Lorraine Kelly's programme. I presume that this reinforces the latter's opinion of the Portuguese police as useless sardine munchers.

It strikes me that this is a golden opportunity to get our views of the McCanns on the Have Your Say facility - both comments there at the moment have done just that...

There are just two comments, both on our side so to speak, but it's unlikely we'll see any more of these. I'm sure there were a lot which didn't get through.
Daily Mail is the same, censoring the comments like mad.

Tigger, both my comments went through immediately. I think it is a great shame that more did not take the opportunity to make remarks about the McCanns - given the fact that both 'events' took place in Portugal with British parents. There are never any comments allowed with regard to the McCanns and so the only chance we ever get is to comment on any other story with similarities...

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