Saturday, 10 October 2009

The statement of Dr Katherine Zacharias Gaspar made to Leicestershire Police on 16 May 2007:

“I give this declaration in relation to the McCANN family who are currently in Portugal. The McCANN family is composed of Gerry McCANN, his wife, Kate McCANN and their three children, Madeleine, aged 4, and Sean and Amelie, who are twins and 3 years of age. As is abundantly clear, Madeleine is not with her family presently, and has been missing for the last two weeks.

“I will start by explaining that I am married to Arul Savio Gaspar and we have two daughters. I have been married to Savio for 11 years. We met when we were working together in Exeter about 14 years ago [1993]. I am a General Practitioner as was my husband. He continues to be a General Practitioner but is also a specialist.

“To explain how we know the McCann family, I would say that my husband knows Kate, as they both attended the University of Dundee between 1987 and 1992. At the time, Kate was known by the name of Kate Healey. I met Kate and Gerry on the occasion of their wedding around 1998 in Liverpool. Both Savio and I went to the wedding because Savio was an old friend of Kate; we were both invited to the event. From what I know, Savio did not know Gerry McCann before they married. From that time on, we met as friends, probably about three times a year and we would spend the weekend together.

“I would say we got to be close friends of Gerry and Kate. I remember that in 2002 or 2003, Savio and I spent a weekend with Gerry and Kate in Devon. We maintained contact with each other by ’phone. In 2002 or 2003 Savio and I were living in the Birmingham area and the McCanns were then in Leicester. In September 2005 Savio, me and ‘A’ [name of first child] (who was around one year and a half) holidayed in Majorca, with Kate, Gerry, Madeleine (who was about 2½ years old) and the twins, Sean and Amelie, who were only a few months old. I was pregnant with ‘B’ [name of second child]. There were also other friends of Kate and Gerry with us there. There was a couple, Dave and Fiona (the Paynes, I think). I believe they were married and had a daughter around one year old called Lily. I remember Fiona was pregnant on that holiday.

“There was another couple on the vacation: C_____ and D_____, whose surname I can’t remember. They had two boys (three years and one year old respectively) whose names I don’t remember. I did not know either of these two families before this holiday. I think it was Dave Payne who organised the trip and we stayed in a big house in Majorca. We were there for one week whilst the McCanns and the Paynes stayed for two weeks. I believe C_____ and D_____ and their two sons also stayed for one week.

“It was fun during the first two or three days. Probably around the fourth or fifth day there was an incident that stuck in my mind. I say this because I have thought about the particular incident I am about to describe many times since then.

“One night, when all the adults, that is, from those couples I have mentioned above, were all sitting around on a patio outside the house where we were all staying. We had been eating and drinking ‘Berbers’.
I was sitting between Gerry and Dave and I think both were talking about Madeleine. I can’t remember the conversation in its entirety, but they seemed to be discussing a particular scenario. I remember Dave saying to Gerry something about ‘she’, meaning Madeleine, ‘would do this’.

“While he mentioned the word ‘this’, Dave was doing the action of sucking one of his fingers, pushing it in and out of his mouth, while with his other hand he was doing a circle around his nipple, with a circular movement around his clothes. This was done in a provocative way. There seemed to be an explicit insinuation about what he was saying and doing. I remember being shocked by that. I always felt it was something very weird and that it was not something anyone should say or do. I looked at Gerry, and also at Dave, to gauge their reactions.

“I looked around as if saying: “Did someone else hear that, or was it just me?”. The conversations stopped for a moment, then we all began conversing again. Moreover, I remember Dave doing the same thing on another occasion. In saying this, I want to mention once again that it was during a conversation in which he was talking about an imaginary scenario, although I’m not sure. He again stuck one of his fingers in and out of his mouth and with the other hand he once again drew a circle around his nipple in a provocative and sexual way. I think he was referring to the way she, that is, his daughter Lily, would behave or what she would do. I think he did this later during this same holiday, but I’m not sure.

“The only time since then that I have been in the company of Dave and Fiona was several weeks after the holidays, when Savio and I met Gerry, Kate, Dave and Fiona in a restaurant in Leicester. I’m sure that he said what he said and made the gestures I have related, but [the second time] it could have happened in the restaurant in Leicester, although I do think it was in Majorca that I heard Dave say and do this for the second time. After the second occasion [when he made these gestures] I took it more seriously.

“I remember thinking whether he would look at my daughter and other little girls in a different way than I or others do. I imagined that he had perhaps visited internet sites related to little children. In a word, I thought that he could be interested in child pornography on the web. During our holiday in Majorca, each parent would bath the children in turn. I was keen to stay near the bathroom if Dave was bathing the children. I remember I said to Savio to be careful and to be close by if Dave was helping to bathe the children and my daughter in particular. I did this [stay hear the bathroom if Dave was bathing the children] quite obviously because hearing what he said had troubled me and I didn’t trust him bathing ‘A’ [our first child].

“When I heard Dave say this for the second time, it reinforced what I had already been thinking concerning his thoughts about little girls. During our stay in Majorca, Dave and his wife Fiona and their daughter Lily used to take Madeleine with them for the day in order that Kate and Gerry could rest a bit and had time just for the twins. I wasn’t worried about Madeleine’s safety, because Fiona and [another female adult] were there, as well as Dave. As already referred to, I was only with Dave and Fiona on one occasion, after [we were on holiday together in] Majorca. And I have not spoken to them at all since that time. In recent, we have seen the McCann family on occasions. These occasions coincide with the children’s birthdays – a time when we all get together.

“The first time I heard the terrible news regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on the radio, my thoughts raced immediately to Dave. I asked Savio if Dave was also on holiday with the McCanns in Portugal, but he didn’t know. I watched TV to catch the coverage of the news and eventually discovered that Dave was there with the McCanns.

“Then I saw him on TV a few days after Madeleine disappeared. I therefore believed that he was on holiday with the McCanns in Portugal. Today, Wednesday 16 May, 2007, at 3.40pm, I have given Detective Constable Brewer a page containing 2 photographic images. I am going to reference these images as: Ref KZG/1). I consent that these may be exhibited as required [by the police]. All these photographs were taken during our holidays in Majorca. In the photographs, Dave is wearing a white T-shirt and the woman in the photograph is his wife Fiona. The man that is holding the cup of wine in the photograph is _____”.

That statement of Dr Katherine Gaspar alone is very concerning. I now turn to a statement made by Dr Katherine Gaspar’s husband, Dr Arul Savio Gaspar, also made on the same day:

“I make this statement in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. I currently work as a General Practitioner at St Clements Surgery, Birmingham, where I have been employed for the last nine years. Madeleine is the daughter of Kate and Gerry McCann and we are friends of the family. I have known Kate since 1987, when we met at Dundee Medical School, and became friends. We have remained in touch all this time and meet up three or four times a year. We often talk on the ’phone or email each other. When we first became friends in 1987, she was still known as Kate Healy; this remained so until she married Gerry at the end of 1990s.

“Kate and I completed our medical degrees in 1992, when we each carried on with our lives, once we had begun our careers. After I finished my degree, I began my career in Exeter, and I think Kate went to Glasgow. I only met up with Kate again in 1997 or 1998. At that moment I was married to Katherine. We had both been invited to attend Kate and Gerry’s wedding.

“After their wedding we lost contact and I think they went to New Zealand. We only met up again in 2001 in Birmingham. The couple visited us in the house where we then living, in ______, and this was the first time I had ever talked to Gerry. I think that at that time Kate and Gerry were living in Queniborough, Leicestershire. From 2001 until 2005, we were in regular contact with each other and often visited each other’s homes.

“We planned a holiday together for the first week of September 2005 in Majorca, together with three other couples including Kate and Gerry. We did not know the other two couples; they were both friends of Kate and Gerry’s. We had never met them before. All of us had children. When we went on this holiday we had one daughter, ‘A’, aged 18 months. Kate and Gerry had three children, Madeleine – almost two – and the twins, who were six months old [NOTE: Madeleine was 2¼ in September 2005].

The other couples were Fiona and David Payne and their daughter Lily who was one year old and ______ and ______ who had two boys aged three and one. I do not remember the surname of ______ and ______ nor the names of their children. Katherine and I had booked the holiday for one week and the McCanns and the other two couples had booked for two weeks. We stayed together in a large villa. We all arrived at the villa separately.

“During the period we stayed at the villa I remember a gesture made by David Payne. I do not remember the context of the conversation between David and Gerry, but I do remember seeing David use his left index finger to rub his nipple, using circular movements, whilst he put his right index finger into his mouth, touching his tongue. This happened during a meal, at the end of the day, in the villa. I do not remember the time or the date, but we would usually dine between 7.30pm and 9.00pm every day. I think this happened in the middle of the holiday.

“I remember that when I saw this gesture, I immediately thought it to be in very bad taste, independently of the context of the conversation they were having. We were sitting around a white plastic table in the villa. I don’t know if anyone else saw the gesture, apart from my wife Katherine. After this gesture, we did not notice any others and as far as I know, the gesture was not repeated. We never commented on this gesture during the rest of the holiday and I thought no more about it.

“I can describe Dave as a Caucasian male 5’ 10” tall, and of a medium complexion. He had brown hair and used glasses or contact lenses depending on the circumstances. I can say that Dave was a pleasant person. I do not remember him having any unusual characteristics.

During the holidays Dave never behaved in an inappropriate manner with Madeleine or with any of the other children. Dave was popular with the children and I took this to be because he was a close friend to the family.

“I never distrusted Dave. After the holidays there was one occasion when we were with Kate and Gerry and Fiona and Dave were also present. That was in a restaurant in Leicester in 2005. I do not remember the name of the restaurant. We had a pleasant evening, just the three couples without the children. I do not remember Dave having behaved inappropriately on this occasion. We have not spoken to Dave or Fiona since December 2005, only due to their being friends of Kate and Gerry [rather than ourselves], not for any other reason. The last time I saw Kate, Gerry, Madeleine, Sean and Amelie was in March 2007 when they came to our house for the first birthday celebration of my daughter ‘B’.

“On the morning of 4th May [2007], Katherine saw the news about Madeleine on television. We were very shocked and worried given that they were close friends. It was during the days following the news of the abduction that we discovered that Fiona and David Payne were also with them in Portugal. It was at this moment that Katherine showed concern at the gesture made by Dave in Majorca in 2005. Katherine remembered that when Dave made the gesture, he was referring to Madeleine.

I only remember that Katherine saw the gesture at the time; I had forgotten the episode, it was never the subject of conversation. At the time I did not feel the gesture was referring to Madeleine.
It is my wish that the police are aware of my preoccupation with the gesture made by David Payne”.