Wanted: Our ex-top cops to join hunt for Maddie

9 September 2008
Manchester Evening News

Top former detectives from Greater Manchester Police could be recruited to help find Madeleine McCann. Chief Supt Steve Heywood, head of the force's serious crime division, has been asked to provide a list of retired or about-to-retire officers. Madeleine was snatched while on holiday in Portugal just a few days before her fourth birthday in May last year. The Find Madeleine Fund was set up with help from individual donations and is now being bankrolled by Brian Kennedy, boss of Sale Sharks rugby union club.

It is understood that he is considering the list provided by several police forces. Among the names is former Det Supt Andy Tattersall, who retired last year. The two men have already spoken about the case.

Another former Manchester police officer Henri Exton, 57, is involved in the hunt. He is understood to be a shareholder in private investigations firm Oakley International. It is understood that Mr Kennedy is happy with the work being done by Oakley but Mr Exton is taking a 'back seat' following publicity around the case.

Mr Tattersall co-wrote the A To Z Checklist of Murder Investigation which is used by police forces across the country. He worked on the investigation into the murder of special branch officer Stephen Oake and was involved in the Jill Dando murder case.

Mr Tattersall insisted the conviction of Barry George was safe but it was quashed on appeal. A spokesman for GMP 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."

Madeleine was abducted from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on May 3 while her parents were dining 50 yards away. During the summer, Portuguese police shelved the case and lifted official suspect status on Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, from Leicestershire.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said: "Kate and Gerry McCann, the fund and its backers have always sought to employ or use the very best people and resources in the search for Madeleine. "If police expertise is potentially available anywhere, the fund and Gerry and Kate would naturally considering using it."

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