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A closer look at Charlotte Pennington Mm11

A closer look at Charlotte Pennington Regist10

A closer look at Charlotte Pennington

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A closer look at Charlotte Pennington Empty A closer look at Charlotte Pennington

Post by Jill Havern on 16.07.19 10:43

A closer look at Charlotte Pennington Charlo10

A closer look at Charlotte Pennington
 

Nigel Moore  
31 January 2008
 
Charlotte Pennington, who was employed as a nanny at the Mark Warner Ocean Club at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, would appear to be blessed with an uncanny knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
Although, from Kate and Gerry McCanns’ perspective, it could be said that the opposite is true. As if by magic, Pennington appears with a ‘sighting’ at just the right time to support the McCanns’ theories on what happened that fateful night of May 3rd.
 
The fact that she claims to have worked as a fairy since the age of 14 may go some way to explaining her remarkable abilities.
 
So, what did she see?
 
She says was there with Madeleine at the kid’s club on 03 May 2007, the day of Maddie’s disappearance. Thus providing herself as an ‘independent’ witness to the fact that Madeleine was still alive on 03 May 2007.
 
She was there, inside the McCanns’ apartment, within five minutes of the alarm being raised, and claims to have witnessed both Kate McCanns’ emotional state and the words spoken. Thus supporting the belief that this was the time of the abduction and that Kate could not have acted that amount of grief.
 
She was there to see Robert Murat hanging around the Ocean Club. Thus supporting the McCanns’, particularly Kate’s, desire to imply that Murat was involved in some way. It was reported, on 27 January 2008, that they believe he may have acted as a ‘look-out’ for a gang of paedophiles.
 
She was there to see Robert Murat speaking with a suspicious looking man, the following day at the local supermarket, who now appears to match the description and artist’s impression produced for Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’. Thus further connecting Murat with an ‘abduction’.
 
And, finally, she was there to see a suspicious man kicking something in a boat, 2 days after Madeleine’s disappearance. Thus supporting one of the McCanns’ theories that the abductor escaped by water – probably to Morocco.
 
But do Charlotte Pennington’s crucial testimonies stand up to scrutiny? Unfortunately, like a great deal of this case, they are riddled with inconsistencies. 
 
Pennington, who also works as a part-time actress – having briefly played the part of Libby Bailey in the New Zealand soap ‘Shortland Street’ – would be familiar with the need to arrive on cue.
 
But then, as we all know, sometimes actors get their lines wrong…
 
Time with Madeleine on 03 May 2007
 
The Daily Mail published details of an interview with Miss Pennington on 25 September 2007, in which she dismissed claims that the McCanns were not seen for six hours leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance.

She said: “I was helping give the children high tea. The twins were there and Madeleine and both parents.

“It was supposed to finish at 5.30pm but because they were a big group and really social, it didn’t finish until about 6pm. There was nothing out of the ordinary at all.”

However, speaking on the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary ‘Searching For Madeleine’, aired on 18 October 2007, she says:

“On May the third, it was just Madeleine I was reading a story to. I later saw them around lunchtime. That’s the last time I saw them together as a family.”

So, which is true? Did she last see Madeleine and the McCanns at 6.00pm or at lunchtime? And why the discrepancy?
The Daily Mail report of 14 October 2007, reporting on Madeleine’s movements at the kid’s club, only mentions nanny Catriona Baker being with her that day. The report states that Maddie was placed in a small group of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years with Miss Baker.

Charlotte Pennington was employed as a nanny in the Ocean Club resort’s Baby Club, looking after children aged four to 12 months. So, why would she have been looking after Madeleine, who was not a member of her Baby Club, and reading her a story that particular day?

Pennington describes how she heard of Madeleine’s disappearance from a woman who had come to collect her child from the evening creche, where she was working. The woman had recounted to her how she had just bumped into a man who had been shouting a name.

Pennington continues: “She didn’t get the name, but she said it sounded something like ‘Abbey, Gabby or Maddie’. We automatically went into lost-child procedure. In these situations, the first thing we do is investigate the scene.

“We knew that one of the other nanny’s charges was called Maddie. We told the head of department what had happened and she took us straight to the apartment.”

Here Miss Pennington clearly states that Madeleine was ‘one of the other nanny’s charges’, referring to Catriona Baker. Yet she says in her two previous statements that she was with Madeleine that day. If that was true, why didn’t she automatically make the connection that this was ‘Maddie’, the girl she had read a story to that very day and had been with until 6.00pm when the McCanns arrived to collect her and the twins?

In the Dispatches documentary, Pennington says: ”They were a very social group and they seemed all to be really respectful, nice, loving parents. Madeleine, I found out to be, quite bright… errm, quite shy… errm, very sweet, very beautiful girl.”

The statement suggests an intimate knowledge of the McCanns and, more specifically, Madeleine. Yet, it appears, Pennington was unable to connect the names ‘Abbey, Gabby or Maddie’ to herself and Madeleine.

This would seem to imply that Pennington never actually had charge of Madeleine on any day and, therefore, did not know her at all, apart from her name being connected to the charge of another nanny.

So where does her intimate knowledge of Madeleine’s personality come from?

And why is she making strong implications that Madeleine was in her charge when she clearly wasn’t? 

The moments after Madeleine disappeared
 
Talking from her mother’s home in Leatherhead, Surrey, she told the Daily Mail: “I was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone. When we were coming out we saw Kate and she was screaming:

‘They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her!’

“I was standing right in front of her outside the apartment’s back door, in the alleyway. I was very close to her. It might not have been the first thing she said. But she definitely said it. I was one of three Mark Warner staff who saw her shouting it. They have all given statements to the Portuguese police saying that.”

In terms of the timeline, this is a very interesting quote. She says she was in the McCanns apartment ”less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone”.

She said previously that the woman who came to collect her child from the evening creche, from whom she first found out a child was missing, arrived just before 10.00pm.

So, by the time the woman reached the creche, according to Pennington’s account, a chain of events had already taken place:

Kate had discovered Madeleine missing; she had searched the apartment herself; she had run to the tapas restaurant to raise the alarm with Gerry and their friends and she had returned to the apartment and waited for it to be thoroughly searched by Gerry and their friends.

There would then have been a passage of time before the man, presumably Gerry, had gone out into the streets shouting out Maddie’s name (which incidentally, the McCanns have insisted they never called her – it was always ‘Madeleine’).


And then, finally, there would have been a passage of time for the woman to arrive at the creche, collect her child and then tell the staff what she had heard outside.

That whole process would surely have taken longer than five minutes to complete, and finish, before 10.00pm. Pennington’s statement suggests the alarm was actually raised sometime well before 10:00pm, but this would then have major repercussions on the McCanns stated timeline. Indeed, it would make the raising of the alarm at 9:30pm, as was stated in some early reports, seem much more likely.
 
Pennington’s account of entering and leaving the apartment is also confusing in relation to her position and Kate’s. She says at first that ”When we were coming out (of the apartment) we saw Kate and she was screaming ‘They’ve taken her’.” This seems odd because it appears to imply that Kate was outside the apartment – possibly just outside the patio doors. But why was Kate outside the apartment screaming ‘They’ve taken her’ when everyone else was inside?

Pennington continues: ”I was standing right in front of her outside the apartment’s back door, in the alleyway. I was very close to her. It might not have been the first thing she said. But she definitely said it. I was one of three Mark Warner staff who saw her shouting it.”

So where was Pennington when Kate was screaming? Was she just coming out of the apartment and presumably beside Kate or was she standing in the alleyway with three other members of the Mark Warner staff?

Pennington’s account on the Dispatches documentary does not make it any clearer. She says: ”I went straight round to the apartment. I sort of walked in, did a quick scan around and been told ‘No, no, she’s not here, she’s not here’.

”Kate McCann was outside and she was very distressed. She was saying things like ‘They’ve taken her’ and ‘She’s gone’ and ‘Where is she? Where is she?’.”

One wonders, by this time, to whom Kate was talking, or screaming.

And for who’s benefit.

But there is one more crucial sentence from Miss Pennington that poses a huge and shocking question mark over our understanding of the events of that evening.

She says: “There were no children in the room. The twins had been taken out already, I think by one of the McCanns’ friends.”

Remember, Pennington ”was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone.”
So where were the twins?

By 10:50pm, we know the twins were back in their cots as the first local GNR police officers attending the scene remarked on how strange it was that the twins did not wake during all the commotion and screaming.

So, it begs the question: Why were the twins not there when Pennington arrived in the apartment?

If Pennington’s statement is correct, then it leaves three possible scenarios:

1) The twins were moved out of the apartment, in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine’s disappearance, and then returned to their cots later. If so, why were they removed? And where did they go and who moved them?

2) The twins were moved prior to Kate’s alarm call, perhaps because they wanted to clean the bedroom and were then returned to the McCanns’ apartment before the GNR arrived? If this were true, where did they go and who moved them?

3) The twins were never put to bed in the McCanns’ apartment that night. They either regularly slept elsewhere on the holiday or they slept elsewhere on that particular night and were transferred back before the GNR arrived. But why would they be sleeping elsewhere? And again, where did they go and who moved them?

If the twins were not in the apartment, this would certainly explain Kate’s decision to run back to the tapas restaurant, apparently abandoning the twins alone in the unlocked apartment.
 
However, if Pennington’s statement is correct, and we are to believe the twins were moved in this way, then it would now seem even more extraordinary that the twins did not wake.

And the implication of that appears to be obvious.
 
Sighting of Robert Murat

Miss Pennington’s Daily Mail interview confirms reports from the McCanns’ friends that Murat was at the scene. “He was outside the lobby just before we started on our big search,” she said.

“He was adamant that he wasn’t there. But he was. He was there in the road, he was just looking. It was about 10.30. He was just watching.

“I didn’t know his name then. But the next day he was our interpreter and I met him then. He didn’t take part in the searches, but he was there.”

It is difficult to understand how Pennington can so clearly identify Robert Murat – a man she admits she did not know previously – in a chaotic scene where, by all accounts, there were people all over the place. A ‘big search’ implies there were lots of people there and this was night time, under street lamps that do not appear to be very powerful.

Can she really be sure this was Murat and not David Payne? The Payne’s reportedly left their two children in the kid’s club, with Madeleine and the twins, under the charge of Catriona Baker. So, it is quite likely that Pennington had never met David Payne previously either.

The Sun further confuses the account when it reports: ‘Charlotte said she saw him (Murat) near the McCanns’ holiday flat at around midnight. Yesterday it was claimed police used Murat as a translator — giving him access to the crime scene — as he was a long-time informant.’

This account, which does not come with a direct quote, does, however, appear to be sourced directly from Miss Pennington. Yet, it clearly contradicts her previous statement that she saw Murat at 10:30pm, in the street outside the lobby, just before they were about to launch their ‘big search’.

So, where did Pennington see Murat? Outside the McCanns apartment at midnight or outside the lobby at 10:30pm?
The two diverse accounts surely cast a major doubt over Pennington’s testimony.

Murat, the suspicious looking man and ‘Creepyman’


A few days after Madeleine’s disappearance, Charlotte Pennington reported seeing Robert Murat chatting to a man outside the Baptista supermarket in Praia da Luz.

Initially, the sighting was used to further imply that Robert Murat was involved in some way. It was suggested that this man fitted the description given by Jane Tanner of a man she allegedly saw walking ‘urgently’ away from the McCanns’ apartment on the night of 03 May 2007.

On 20 January 2007, the McCanns’ released an artist’s impression of a man Gail Cooper allegedly saw acting in a ‘creepy’ way during the weeks before the McCanns arrived in Praia da Luz. Suddenly, Pennington’s ‘sighting’ was dug up, brushed off and represented to the public as a crucial piece of crucial, long-lost information.

In the space of 24 hours, the man who Murat was chatting to had suddenly been transformed from Jane Tanner’s ‘abductor’ into Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’.
 
Firstly, the Daily Mail reports that: ‘Charlotte Pennington, a nanny at the Ocean Club holiday complex where the McCanns were staying, told police last May she saw Murat chatting to “a man aged around 27 to 35, average height, very dark eyes and of Portuguese or Spanish appearance”.

She told detectives she saw expat Murat, who lives with his mother near to holiday complex, talking to the man outside the Baptista supermarket in Praia da Luz.’

The following day, the Daily Mail makes a stronger connection when it reports that: ‘Nanny Charlotte Pennington’s description of a person she saw with Mr Murat also matches the man shown in the artist’s impression.’

Later, The Sun, appearing to run a direct quote from Pennington, pushes the connection further, when it reports: ‘And Charlotte Pennington, a nanny at the McCanns’ holiday complex, says a suspicious man she saw in Praia da Luz was “similar” to the drawing.’
So, in what way is Pennington’s sighting ”similar” to the description and artist’s impression of Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’?
Pennington describes a man ”between 27 and 35, with medium build, very dark eyes and a Portuguese or Spanish look”.
Cooper, in describing ‘Creepyman’, says: “This man was very unpleasant and creepy. I’d put his age at 38 to 45. He was very scruffy and had a 70s-style black Mexican moustache. He wasn’t Portuguese—I think he was North African, either Tunisian or Moroccan.”
 
So, in what possible way could these two men possibly be described as ”similar”?

From the two descriptions, they have absolutely nothing in common whatsoever.

Yet newspapers, or perhaps more pertinently Metodo 3, seem intent on connecting the two. Newspapers will run with it because it’s a good angle and will sell papers, Metodo 3 because that is what they are being paid by the McCanns to do. They have an agenda.

And that agenda is to propagate the abduction theory to the exclusion of all others.
 
The sighting of the boatman


Two days after Madeleine’s disappearance, Miss Pennington claims to have seen a mystery boatman kicking at something in the middle of the night.

Pennington said she spotted the man in a small dinghy, just off the Praia da Luz seafront, kicking at an object stored in the boat’s hull.

The Daily Mail continues: ‘When she moved closer to investigate, the man – whose name she has given to Portuguese and British police – stooped out of sight then hurriedly rowed away. Miss Pennington said the man was wearing a reflective yellow jacket with a hood but she could not make out his face.’

So, what are the concerns here?

Firstly, the report says Pennington spotted the man in a ‘small dinghy’. However, the very next sentence describes a ‘boat’ which was apparently big enough to store a reasonable size object in its hull.

Secondly, one wonders why a person, who it is implied may have had Madeleine stored alive, or dead, in a box in his dinghy/boat, would choose to wear a bright yellow, reflective fisherman’s jacket.

Thirdly, the sighting took place ‘in the middle of the night’ when the seafront is pitch black. Those people searching for Madeleine, on the night of 03 May 2007, have described how they could only see as far as their torches shone and it was actually quite a frightening experience.

So, how could Pennington see anything, let alone a man apparently some distance away that she had to move closer to try and see.

And what was Pennington doing in the middle of the night, in the pitch black on the seafront? Did she have a torch?

Fourthly, Pennington admits she did not see the man’s face and that he stooped down and quickly rowed away. So, how could she possibly know who he was, in order to give his name to the police?

The first published reports of the sighting claimed that Pennington was shocked to see the man again the next day, still wearing his bright yellow, reflective fisherman’s jacket. She claims that she recognised the man as someone ‘whom she had come to know over the preceding week’. But how? How can she recognise and name a man just from a jacket, seen from distance, in the pitch dark?

It should be remembered that Praia da Luz is a small fishing village and the sight of a fisherman’s jacket, in such a setting, would surely not be unusual. In fact, it would be a surprise if it wasn’t commonplace.


 Where was Charlotte Pennington?, 30 June 2008
 Where was Charlotte Pennington?
 
Nigel Moore
Monday 30 June 2008
 
The question: ‘Where was Charlotte Pennington when Madeleine was reported missing?’ would appear to be one of the few questions surrounding the case that can boast a straightforward answer.
 
In a case that has become characterised by the frustratingly unsatisfactory quotes of unnamed friends and sources, Ms Pennington has afforded us the rare luxury of being able to listen to her own words from her own mouth – at least until the Dispatches documentary ‘Searching for Madeleine’ was removed from YouTube and Channel 4’s own 4oD service.
 
On that documentary, Ms Pennington recounted the following story: “I was working that night at something called ‘Drop-in Creche’. We had one child left and… errm, the mother came in, picked up the child and just mentioned ‘Hang on a minute, I’ve just seen a guy who’s run past me, who seemed really distressed and I recognised him as being a guest at Mark Warner, but he was shouting out something like ‘Maddie’ or ‘Abbey’ or ‘Gabby’.”
 
She then continues: “I went straight to the apartment. I sort of walked in, did a quick scan around and been told ‘No, no. She’s not here, she’s not here’.
 
“Kate McCann was outside and she was very distressed. She was saying things like ‘They’ve taken her’ and ‘She’s gone’ and, you know, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’
 
“She was crying and there were tears down her face and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see.”
 
So, in Ms Pennington’s own words, her movements would appear to be crystal clear and unequicocal. End of story.
 
Yet, in Danny Collins recently released book ‘Vanished’ a completely different picture is painted. We are used to reading slight variations of stories connected to the case, to the point where double-vision is a regular occurence, but we are less used to somebodies movements being directly and confidently contradicted in print.
 
So what does Mr Collins say about Ms Pennington’s movements and what is the significance of them, if true?
 
Mr Collins states that rather than being in the communal ‘Drop-in creche’, Ms Pennington was actually babysitting in a ‘nearby apartment’ and was brought to the McCanns’ apartment by the sound of Kate McCanns’ screams from the balcony of apartment 5A.
 
He claims that Ms Pennington was the first person at the scene and that she told police that Kate ‘clutched at her’ and ‘sobbed in panic as she tried to answer the young childminder’s questions’. 
 
Whilst Ms Pennington does indeed describe the frenzied state of Kate McCann, she does not mention the undoubted importance and significance of being the first person to arrive at the scene.
 
However, if Ms Pennington’s own account is true then it would have been impossible for her to have been the first person at the scene as the incident she describes clearly indicates that the alarm had been raised some time before she was made aware of it.
 
She does state in the Daily Mail article of 25 September 2007 that “I was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone”.
 
However, that would seem unlikely given the fact that after Kate had reportedly discovered Madeleine missing she would have had to inform the rest of the group by returning to the Tapas bar; allowed time for a further search of the apartment by Gerry and their friends; allowed time to consider what to do; allowed time for Gerry to decide to go out onto the streets and then do it; allowed time for the woman to hear him and later report what she had heard to Pennington and then time for Pennington to ascertain which apartment was involved, gather herself and then actually reach the apartment. It would seem unlikely that that whole process would have taken ‘less than five minutes’.
 
In the same article, Ms Pennington further describes how: “We knew that one of the other nanny’s charges was called Maddie. We told the head of department what had happened and she took us straight to the apartment.
 
“There were no children in the room. The twins had been taken out already, I think by one of the McCanns’ friends.”
 
Leaving aside discussion around the distrubing suggestion that the twins were not in the apartment at that time (Where were they and why and how did they return by the time the GNR arrived?), Ms Pennington states that she attended the McCanns apartment with her head of department – yet again clearly suggesting that she wasn’t the first person on the scene.
 
So, who to believe? Ms Pennington herself or the words of a Spanish-based veteran investigative journalist? Faced with such a choice the natural inclination would surely be to side with the individual who was actually there and witnessed it. Yet, the level of detail in Collins text suggests his knowledge extends beyond that of a blindfold, a stick and a piñata.
 
Mr Collins also has something very significant to say about the occupation of the apartments by the McCanns and the Tapas Seven.
 
Mr Collins states that the McCanns were in apartment 5A, as we all know, but that Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien were next door in apartment 5B. This appears to directly contradict Clarence Mitchell’s statement that Rachael Oldfield was next door on the evening that Madeleine is alleged to have been left crying, unattended. 
 
What Mr Mitchell actually said was: “Equally, one of the friends, Rachael Oldfield, was in the apartment next door in a bedroom adjacent to the wall where Madeleine was in her bedroom and she heard no crying at all all night.”
 
The natural assumption from Mr Mitchell’s statement is that Rachael Oldfield was ‘in the apartment next door’ because that was her apartment. After all, what would she be doing in somebody elses bedroom, on her own, whilst all the other members of the holidaying party were out enjoying themselves? All night.
 
Of course, making assumptions is a dangerous thing to do. But it does seem peculiar that Mr Mitchell has specifically identified Rachael Oldfield – why not simply say that the Oldfield’s were next door and heard nothing? If she heard nothing all night, then she must have been there all night. If so, where was her husband?
 
If Mrs Oldfield was alone, it would suggest she was alone for a reason. After all, we have been told, first hand by Kate, that they were operating a system. She said: “We all knew what we had to do, what we would do and.. you know, it worked as a system we had going and it just seemed totally right somehow”.
 
Could it be that Mrs Oldfield was babysitting? That the ‘system’ involved one member of the group babysitting all the children? There is, it must be stated, no evidence to suggest this is the case but, at one point, there were curious reports of all the children sharing the McCanns’ apartment on the night of 3rd May. But was this true or just another flight of fancy?
 
Mr Collins states that Mark Warner only rented out the ground floor apartments and that the holidaying group were all based on that floor, contradicting previous reports that the Payne’s were located on the floor above. Collins says that the Payne’s were ‘further down the walkway’ and that the Oldfield’s were based the furthest away from the McCanns’ apartment.
 
So what significance does this have to the whereabouts of Charlotte Pennington on that evening? Possibly, a great deal.
 
Mr Collins tells us that Ms Pennington was babysitting in a ‘nearby apartment’ when she heard the screams of Kate McCann. He tells us that Mark Warner only rented the ground floor apartments and so, therefore, we are compelled to ask: Was Ms Pennington babysitting for one of the Tapas group and, if so, which one?
 
If we are to believe reports, the Payne’s were the only couple to own and use a working baby-monitoring device, so would therefore have had no need of a babysitter. The Oldfield’s were the furthest away from the McCanns apartment and it would therefore seem very unlikely that Ms Pennington could have heard the screams of Kate, if she was babysitting inside the Oldfield’s apartment.
 
So, that just leaves the apartment of Tanner and O’Brien, next door to the McCanns, where Kate’s screams would have been easily heard.
 
Yet, if Collins is correct in the statements he has committed to print, then two questions immediately spring to mind: Why was Pennington employed as a babysitter, when the group had a communal checking ‘system’ that supposedly ‘worked’? And if Pennington was babysitting the children of Tanner and O’Brien, then why was Russell O’Brien reportedly absent from the group until just before 10:00pm?
 
Of course, the possibility that there was another family occupying an apartment in the middle of the Tapas groups apartments must be considered. However, it is very curious that if there were such an apartment, and such a family, then why have they never been identified, mentioned or even remotely hinted at?
 
The fog that surrounds the mystery continues to show no signs of lifting.

Please use this thread for any comments: https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t16384-nigel-moore-a-closer-look-at-charlotte-pennington

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