Kidnap mum 'released from prison'
A mother jailed for eight years for what a judge described as a "truly despicable" plot to abduct her nine-year-old daughter is thought to have been released from prison.
Karen Matthews, then 33, was sent to Foston Hall prison near Derby after being jailed in January 2009 for the kidnap of her daughter Shannon.
But she is believed to have been released from prison after serving half her sentence, including almost 10 months on remand.
There was no official confirmation of her release, but Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the probation union Napo, said Matthews will be on licence for the remainder of her sentence. She will also be banned from returning to the area of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, where she lived, Mr Fletcher said.
He added that the conditions of Matthews's release also ban her from associating with Michael Donovan, in whose flat the youngster was found. Donovan was also jailed for eight years and has already been released. Mr Fletcher added: "Because of her notoriety, special measures will be taken to protect her from threats and from getting involved in any further offending."
Matthews will also have to report to probation, live at an approved address, stay in the UK, and be of good behaviour, he said.
As the media gathered outside Foston Hall, inmates at the closed women's prison which can hold up to 310 offenders shouted from their cell windows that Matthews had been released.
Shannon was nine when she disappeared from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, in February 2008. After a massive police operation, she was discovered 24 days later at her stepfather's uncle's home, less than a mile away.
Dewsbury Moor vicar, the Rev Kathy Robertson, said: "I think the people of Dewsbury Moor just want to move on and just continue with their own lives. There's still a lot of hurt among some people there but they are a strong, robust community. You just have to look at how everyone came together to look for Shannon. It showed what a strong community spirit there is."
But Matthews wants to take part in a lie detector test on ITV's Jeremy Kyle show as she continues to protest her innocence, her cousin Susan Howgate said. "She wants to do this lie detector and go on Jeremy Kyle," Ms Howgate told ITV's Daybreak. "Well, why doesn't she just do it?" She added that Matthews had "ruined" the lives of the family.