Lying in the Sun

Just Checking - 1

Just Checking -  1



“Matthew Oldfield -

“It  WASN'T usual routine err for us to check on each other’s children”


“I’d NOT done it before”

If there is one thing the public question about the story the McCanns, and their group of friends have told it is the ‘checking of the children.’

The police did not believe their accounts of the checking, and interviewed by Bilton for the BBC:-



Association of Police Investigators

“They said that every half an hour they would go and look in on the children and all of them, we found in EVERYBODY'S statement, some questions that suggest that actually they DIDN'T go and see the children.”


I think it is blatantly obvious to one and all that the checking of the children does not add up.  Reading the police witness statements confirms this.  We are not talking a couple of minutes here or there but huge holes in the tale.


In interview the McCanns always give the impression, deliberately mislead (?) the viewer/reader/listener that there was a checking system in place whereby everyone took a turn of checking not only their own children, but the children of the others in the group.

This did not happen!

The group consisted of four couples.  Also in the group was the mother of one of the females in the group.  Nine adults in total!

David and Fiona Payne (Fiona’s mother Dianne Webster also)

Kate and Gerry McCann

Rachael and Matthew Oldfield

Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien


Dianne Webster did no checking at any time during their stay in Portugal of anyone’s children.  Not, her grandchildren, the Payne children and not any other children in this group.

David and Fiona Payne did no checking of anyone’s children.  Not the children of anyone in the group, and not their own!  That is, they never at any time left the dinner table that week to go and check on their own children as they had taken along a baby monitor and it was this they relied on as their ‘check’ of their children.  The idea behind it, that they would not have to run back and forth to their apartment, they could eat their meal undisturbed, that is, providing all remained quiet on the child monitor. 

Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien, these two also only checked on their own children.  Russell O’Brien makes a rather pathetic attempt in his police witness statements at deceiving others into believing that he checked the McCann children, and we will address this a little later.  What a wicked web he tried to weave.

Kate and Gerry McCann NEVER checked on anyone else’s children either.

Rachael and Matthew Oldfield, these two did not check on anyone else’s children either throughout that week.

So this tale the McCanns tell when interviewed of the adults in their group all running back and forth checking each others' children is most certainly not the truth.  Wildly inaccurate!

Why do they do it?

Presumably, so that it does not appear to the public that they were a negligent bunch, or to conceal something, some other tragic event perhaps?

The police recognised immediately that things did not tally, that the statements made by this group of people were pretty much looking like a deliberate attempt to mislead the investigation.

As Carlos Anjos stated – the statements the group gave to police suggest they DIDN’T GO AND SEE THE CHILDREN!

Was the group concerned that they would be charged with child neglect/abandonment, and this caused them to fabricate the checking times, to increase the number of times to make it look like the children were being checked much more regularly than actually was the case? Quite possibly!

The checks on the night Madeleine was reported as missing the McCann couple claim were around every 30 minutes.

After Madeleine had told them on the Thursday morning (she disappeared on Thursday night) that she and her brother had been crying on the previous night – the McCanns decided they would check their children more regularly.

If every 30 minutes was more regular than previous nights, then the McCann children were not being checked throughout that week, every 30 minutes!

The McCann children I would suggest were being checked more on an hourly basis if even that.

And when we take into account the police witness statement given by Mrs Fenn who lived in the apartment above the McCann holiday apartment,that she heard the cries of a child from the McCann apartment for more than an hour on the Tuesday night– this would tie in!

This was the night that the tapas bar held a quiz night.  It was also the first night that the group of adults were all out to dinner at the tapas together (Sunday night Matthew Oldfield had been ill, stayed at home.  Monday night Russell O’Brien stayed at home with one of his daughters who had been ill.)

***If I may add an update here.

Russell O'Brien was unsure if he remained in his apartment with his daughters on the Monday or the Tuesday evening. He recalled it was the Monday evening.

His partner Jane Tanner while being interviewed by Leicestershire police in the UK hammered out this point, and the conclusion was reached that he O'Brien in fact remained in their apartment with their daughters on the Tuesday evening.  For purposes of police witness statements it was recorded as the Tuesday.

This conclusion was reached, and based on the fact the child had not been taken to the creche the following morning (Wednesday) as she had been unwell the evening before.  And that Russell O'Brien was not at the quiz night on the Tuesday evening as recalled by Jane Tanner.  She states he was "missed" at this quiz night as he has, according to Ms Tanner a good memory for trivia.

Russell O'Brien it was therefore established spent Tuesday evening in their apartment.

The Tuesday evening being when Mrs Fenn heard the McCann children cry!

We therefore have three nights where not all group members attended tapas for dinner.

Sunday - Matt Oldfield did not attend for dinner.
Tuesday - Russell O'Brien did not attend for dinner.
Wednesday - Rachael Oldfield did not attend for dinner.  


Were the group, the McCanns in particular so engrossed in the quiz and this is why the McCann children were not checked more frequently on this Tuesday night? 

Whatever the reason, most definitely, on this night there was a long period of time when the McCann children were not checked, physically, visually or by listening at any shuttered window.

We must remember that on the night the child was reported as missing, Gerry McCann claims to have checked around 9pm.

Kate McCann claiming her check took place around 10pm.

An hour between checks!

Again, this would tie in with Mrs Fenn’s statement of over an hour on the night of 1st May 2007 as being the normal frequency of checking!


Rachel and Matthew Oldfield did not, as we know, check on anyone else’s children either, throughout that week.  Not until, that is, as Oldfield has claimed, that he checked the McCann children only on the night Madeleine vanished.

Matthew Oldfield Rogatory Interview with Leicestershire Police:

4078 "Was there an actual discussion between the group of you as to the sort of fifteen minute checks or ten minute checks or whatever or was it something that you as a couple had decided on and then the circumstances during the week meant that everyone had sort of taken it in turns to check?"


Reply "No, we pretty much checked our, well certainly we checked our own and it was only the last night that we offered to check for Gerry and Kate.



4078  Up until the Wednesday night, from what you have already said then, you didn't go into Gerry and Kate's apartment, well, sorry, you didn't check on Gerry and Kate's children?"


Reply "No".



Asking re Oldfield listening at the shuttered window:


4078 "Was that the first time that you had taken it UPON YOURSELF to check on somebody else's child?"


Reply "Yeah, I'd NOT done it before! 


Only on the last night (by last night, he means the night Madeleine vanished) did Matthew Oldfield check on someone else’s children – the McCann children. 

How very odd!

On one of the five nights that the group of parents dined together without the children, Matthew Oldfield being ill did not join them.  He stayed in his apartment to look after his child.   His wife Rachael too, on another of the five nights was unwell, so on that night she stayed in the apartment to look after their child.

So the Oldfield’s, that is, as a couple, dined with the other parents at the tapas bar on only three nights of the five.

It means also that the Oldfield's only required to check on their daughter, three out of the five nights that the group dined at the tapas, as on two of those nights, either Matthew Oldfield or Rachael Oldfield remained in their apartment.

Rachael Oldfield never at any time checked on the children of any other couple.  In fact, it was her husband who did the checking of their own child mainly as she stated she did not like going up the dark road to the apartments.

Only on the night Madeleine McCann was reported as missing did Matthew Oldfield, who really didn’t know the McCanns, or their children, claim he checked on them.

He stated that he made no checks of any other children throughout that week.

How odd then that on this night he should decide to check the McCann children.

His checking of the McCann children on this night is however much disputed.  Why would he suddenly decide to do so?

Oldfield was not a friend of the McCann couple.  He had met them only through Russell O’Brien.  Russell was a friend of David Payne, and the Payne couple were close friends with Kate and Gerry McCann. (Interestingly, Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner, like the Oldfield’s were not close friends of the McCann couple.)

Oldfield did not know the McCann children.  And more importantly, these children did not know Matthew Oldfield.

It would seem rather odd, when no member of the group had been checking on children other than their own throughout that week that Matthew Oldfield who stated to police he did not really know the McCanns or their children, would then on the night the child vanished, check on them, not once but twice?

More odd, is that the first check he performed he stated he did so without being asked by the McCann couple to do so.  He simply took it upon himself to listen at a shuttered window of the McCann apartment, his assumption being that was the window of the bedroom the McCann children slept.

As we later learn from statements, he had never before been in the McCann apartment, and did not know which of the two bedrooms of the McCann apartment the children slept.

So listening at the shuttered window which he had done could have been, by all accounts a rather wasted and fruitless task when he did not know for sure where these children slept, or if indeed they all slept in the one bedroom!

And, as we know from the McCann witness statements, it would not have been unusual for Madeleine to go through to their room and sleep in their bed to avoid the 'noise' (the crying) of her twin siblings.

But why would this man, suddenly decide to do such a thing?

The McCann couple when checking on their children, and entering by the front locked door, had to pass the shuttered window of the Oldfield apartment, and NEVER once did it cross their minds to listen at this window to hear if the Oldfield child was crying?

So why would Oldfield out of the blue, decide to go the few steps beyond his own apartment to that of the McCanns, and listen at the shuttered window, more so as he had not a clue which bedroom the McCann children slept?

Remember this was an impromptu check.  

He did not tell anyone he was going to do this.  
He did not ask the McCann couple if they would like him to.
He did not know them as good friends, merely acquaintances, people he had met some years before at a wedding.
And he certainly did not know their children.
He had never been in this apartment.
He had never asked about the McCann sleeping arrangements.

For all this man knew, all of the McCann children may have slept in the bedroom at the other side of the apartment.

So indeed an odd thing to do when he didn't know where the McCann children slept and odd in that, no one was listening at shutters that week.  No one at all!

More, odd, when the Oldfield’s did not really know the McCann family.

Oldfield Rogatory interview with Leicestershire Police: 

4078  - "In relation to Gerry and Kate then, just to clarify what you have said. You met them at David and Fiona's wedding?" 

Reply "Yeah". 

4078 -  "In two thousand and three in Italy. And you stayed, you shared an apartment with them then. Have you met them socially between then and now very often?" 

Reply  - I don't think we met them at all after the wedding, before, erm, before we left to go down to London. But I know Russ and Jane and Dave and Fiona would have been to sort of the birthday parties, erm, but more because they were Leicester based really. And we weren't, hadn't become sort of that close from that small visit in Italy". 

4078  - "So the FIRST time you had SEEN them or HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM really again was this holiday last May?" 

Reply - "Yeah, I mean, we knew ABOUT them because Fiona, Dave and Fiona were sort of close friends with them and I think Fiona and Kate trained at some point (inaudible) training or knew each other in that way, so we'd HEAR about them, but it was, erm, Gerry and Kate and then Dave and Fi at this end and then Russ and Jane sort of sort of thing, it was like that".


So the Oldfield’s met the McCann couple briefly at a wedding in Italy, in 2003.  They did not meet with them again until the holiday in Portugal in 2007.  They really did not know this couple at all.

They had seen Madeleine as a baby of 4/5 months old in 2003, and had never seen or met Sean and Amelie McCann the twin children of Kate and Gerry McCann.

On this holiday in Portugal the McCann children spent all day in the crèche, only at lunch time spending a little time with their parents.  They did not during the day spend time with the other families, or, the other children.

For a short period in the evening after the children had their evening meal at the creche area for children's dining, we are told they all played at the tennis area while their parents played tennis.

It is only at this time, that Matthew Oldfield would have seen the McCann children, in between playing tennis.  I cannot imagine he got to know them well.  Or to put it plainly, I cannot imagine that he would have been very much interested in getting to know three little tots who most likely he was not going to see again, or at least most probably not for another few years.

Their own parents put them in the creche all day long. Why would Oldfield then feel the need to get to know them?

Remember too, Oldfield was ill on one of the nights.  So would not have been around at this 'play time' on that evening, and the McCann children did not attend the tennis area for a 'play' on the evening of the 3rd May 2007.  So Oldfield would have seen these children for a very short period of time on only two or perhaps three evenings during that week, depending at which times he was on 'court' playing, and depending the time that the McCann children actually spent of an evening at the tennis courts.   We must not forget, the McCanns had their routine.  Their children had to be in bed very early - that old British way that Clarence their spin doctor spoke of.  Get the children to bed and then leave them on their own!   Indeed Mitchell!

So the time that Oldfield, spent with  saw the McCann children would probably have been only a few minutes each evening, over say three evenings?

Hardly time, I’m sure all will agree to have bonded with the McCann children.  And most certainly not in a way, that it would have been wise for him to go into the McCann apartment alone, in the dark to check on these children.

What if one of the children had been awake and crying?  Or, indeed all of them?

Seeing a man, who was in essence a stranger to them, when the only persons they would have wanted to see was their mummy and daddy, most probably would have scared these already frightened children, witless.  Sleepy children, crying, upset, seeing a “stranger” through the darkness would have terrified them.

He would not have been able to comfort children he did not know, children who would have been afraid of the strange man in the dark apartment.

Was he, if he found the children to be crying, to leave them alone once more in the unlocked apartment, more afraid than before, while he returned to the tapas bar to alert their parents?

That makes no sense whatsoever.

Oldfield himself tells Leicestershire police that for this very reason he did not offer to check on the McCann children sooner that week.  He would have if required to do so, felt comfortable checking the children of Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner as these children knew him, but not the McCann children.

Oldfield to Leicestershire Police

“ but we usually, we'd check OUR OWN and as far as I know, that DIDN'T really change. Although, because it wouldn't seem, certainly for Russell and Jane I'd be happy to check for their children because they know me and if, you know, they had been awake and I went in they wouldn't be particularly, erm, you know, they wouldn't be particularly shocked or surprised or not know who I was, but Gerry and Kate and their children I didn't know them so well, so I wouldn't and certainly at the beginning of the week have offered to check their children or assumed that that would be okay, it was only at the end of the week when we seemed to know each other better and our routines and everybody seemed to be doing the same thing that it seemed to be a nice thing to do to offer to save them a trip".

Exactly, Oldfield did not know the McCann children ‘well enough’ nor they, him, for him to go into the apartment and check on them.  A couple of evenings for a few minutes, seeing the McCann children run around playing at the tennis courts hardly changed this situation.

And when he said it was only at the end of the week when they seemed to know each other better one has to assume he is referring to the McCann couple as he most certainly, not by any stretch of the imagination, knew the McCann children.


Why would Gerry and Kate McCann think this was okay to allow a man who they did not know well, someone they had met back in 2003 and who did not know their children, to go into their apartment and check on them?

Did they tell this man what he should do if he found their children upset and crying?  Did they think it was then okay for the children just to be left once more whilst Oldfield trooped back to the bar to tell them, and then they trooped to the apartment to attend to the children?

I cannot think of anything that would frighten a man more, than being in the situation whereby three little tots who he does not know, are crying and afraid.  Most would flee the scene.  Most would never have put themselves in such a position in the first place where the potential for such a situation, finding crying children, was pretty high, as it was in the case of the McCann children.  Kate McCann had just been telling all at the table of exactly that!  Of how they had left the patio door unlocked as her children had been crying the night previous in their absence, asking of her friends was it better the door was left unlocked (which is how she said she had left it) so that Madeleine could get out to go look for her parents.

Why would Kate McCann then think it was alright for this man to go into their apartment and check on their children, when it was highly likely one, two, or ALL three of them might be awake and crying?

Her friends say she was anxious about the situation she had described to them - the children alone and crying the previous night, the now unlocked patio door FOR MADELEINE TO GET OUT TO GO FIND THEM, a situation created by her and Gerry McCann.

NOT anxious enough it would seem when she was happy to give up her turn to attend to, and check on her children who had been left so vulnerable by them, to a man who was a stranger to her children.

Hearing this, about how the McCann children woke and cried, should have had Oldfield running for the hills, not to apartment 5A!

It is one thing to check on children in the night, when you know well the children, and they know you also.  Quite another in the Oldfield/McCann children scenario. 

Rather hard to believe such a story!  

More, hard to believe, when Oldfield told police that he was annoyed at Gerry McCann, after he, Oldfield did his impromptu check of the McCann children at around 9pm, listening at the bedroom shutter, as McCann had ignored the fact Oldfield had said he'd checked, and that all was okay, and immediately after Oldfield returned to the dinner table and told him this, McCann went off to check on his children.

Oldfield speaks of, not quite his wounded pride, at McCann, not perhaps trusting him, but of being miffed shall we say at this.

If Oldfield was annoyed at McCann for doing this – Why then would Oldfield offer to check on the McCann children a little later that night? In fact around  TEN OR FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER!

As this is exactly what Oldfield said he did – Offered just 10 minutes or so later when Gerry McCann returned to the table (9:15) to then take Kate McCanns turn to check her children which was supposedly due at 9:30pm   Oldfield stating he left the table at 9:25pm



"Erm, so I went to check on G**** and I stood up and Russell stood up and said he was going to go and check as well and Kate stood up and I said, you know, do you want US to go and check on, erm, do you want ME to go and check on your kids, erm, and she said YES. And I think I offered at that point just because we had been together all week and we had similar routines and it just kind of seemed like a NICE thing to do that would save her a journey back up and, you know, it may or it may not have been different. But, erm, I said that and she said yeah fine and she said that the patio door was open and go in through there. And there was me and Russell as well, so, erm, you know, it seemed, at the time, a very reasonable thing to do, even though it was the first time that WE’d certainly done it. Also, having somebody else there with me, it sort of felt sort of more, more sort of natural and normal.”

This story, like most of the others we have heard from the group, absolutely smacks of fabrication!

Just 10/15 minutes prior to this offer, Gerry McCann had more or less snubbed Oldfield, or at least that is how Oldfield interpreted McCanns actions.  He Oldfield had been miffed at McCann for doing so, and yet Oldfield offers to do a check, this time IN the McCann apartment, and McCann says NOTHING?

I note Oldfield speaks as though he was addressing only Kate McCann and not Gerry McCann.  

One can understand how the Portuguese police reached their conclusion almost instantly as to the lack of honesty with regards the statements made by the group.

The public reading these statements can see also that they do not add up.

The Metropolitan Police Review surely, absolutely cannot see it any differently from the Portuguese Police, they too must see that something is very much wrong in the tales and timeline, their suspicions  surely roused as to the honesty of the statements this group of people have supplied as key witnesses in the disappearance of this child, questioning the reason as to why they would do this?

March 2013


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