“Thus with the year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn Or the sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose” John Milton
Kate’s book contains an extraordinary suggestion; that the British Consul, Bill Henderson knew of paedophile activity in the Albufeira area, in Algarve. In August 2006, British tour operators had apparently discussed their concerns with him, but had wanted this information to be kept confidential.
The incidents were quite specific in detail; where intruders had got into holiday apartments at night and molested children in their beds, locking the door to the parents’ bedroom before assaulting the children.
In one case, the perpetrator had used the father’s aftershave in an attempt to “soothe or deceive the child.” This had occurred after the perpetrators had watched for routines in the behaviour of the family, to determine security and the location of bedrooms.
According to Kate, Henderson was uncertain as to what had happened to these people, although he thought one person had been arrested and was awaiting trial.
Is Kate really suggesting that such a cavalier approach to the future safety of children was adopted by Bill Henderson? Why would the tour operators have discussed this with the recently appointed Consul if they wanted the information to remain confidential? How could they have been sure he would be in agreement with this course of inaction?
A perusal of The Algarve Resident newspaper for September 21st 2006 covers a story about the arrest of eight paedophiles in Lisbon and a report of a ring of 46 people sexually abusing minors. A 52 year old man had also been arrested for procuring an abortion for a 13 year old girl.
It was also reported that the men involved had a relationship as a friend or neighbour with the children’s parents.
Could these have been the incidents the Consul was actually referring to?
If so, he would have been aware that the police were dealing with the situation and that the scenario posed no direct threat to holidaymakers. If he was referring to different incidents, he made no statement to the police after Madeleine’s disappearance. Surely he would have been under an obligation to do so if Kate’s story is to be believed?
He had told her about the incidents when he met her shortly after Madeleine had disappeared, yet she refers to him as the retired Consul when she relates this story on page 295. Henderson retired at the end of August 2007, shortly before the McCanns were made arguidos. Apparently, the significance of his information in the early days had not occurred to Kate until after his retirement!
However, Bill Henderson was not listed by Kate and Gerry as one of the witnesses they wanted the police to interview, in spite of mentioning this as key information in her book.
Was Praia da Luz a hunting ground for paedophiles and burglars? Pamela Fenn mentions a burglary at her apartment. She apparently apprehended the man who made his escape through a window- a dangerous position to escape from on the second floor...
This apparently occurred before the McCanns arrived and, one presumes, was reported to the police at the time? An attempted burglary of an elderly lady in an otherwise unoccupied block of apartments should have been taken very seriously.
Susan and Paul Moyes, holiday time neighbours living directly above Mrs Fenn seemed blissfully unaware of all of the crimes in the resort. On the night Madeleine disappeared, they were sitting on their balcony, but saw and heard nothing other than guests at the Tapas bar enjoying themselves. They later joined the searches for Madeleine and gave their observations of Praia da Luz. Paul -“idyllic, safe” and Susan -“It was paradise.”
Or Paradise Lost?