Super cops join search for Maddie

10 September 2008
Daily Star
Ohn Mahoney
Ex-police help hunt

A crack team of retired supercops is being hired to help the hunt for Madeleine McCann. Scotland Yard, Cambridgeshire and Greater Manchester (GMP) forces have been approached for lists of former detectives who could bring fresh leads. The elite squad of officers – all retired or close to collecting their pensions – will be recruited by the Find Madeleine Fund and told to re-examine previous evidence. The fund is being bankrolled by leisure tycoon Brian Kennedy, 48, who owns Sale Sharks rugby union club and boasts an estimated £350 million fortune.

One experienced officer he has met is ex-Det Supt Andy Tattersall, who retired from GMP last year. His high profile probes included the 2003 murder of special branch officer Stephen Oake, 40, during an anti-terror raid and the 1999 shooting of Jill Dando, 37. Last month Barry George, 48, was cleared of Dando's murder after a retrial but Tattersall had insisted George's conviction was safe. He also co-wrote a crime manual called The A To Z Checklist of Murder Investigation.

Another ex-Manchester officer believed to figure in the new team is Henri Exton, 57, now a private eye.

Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007. Her parents Kate and Gerry, both 40, are understood to approve of the new inquiry team. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry, the fund and its backers have always sought to employ or use the very best people and resources."

Last night a GMP spokesman said: "We have given details of some eligible officers or former officers. As far as we are aware, no decision has been made by the fund."

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