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Gerry McCann in outburst after Maddy sleeping tablets overdose claims

By Claire McNeilly

Gerry McCann today slammed as "ludicrous" accusations that he and his wife played any role in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.

His unexpected outburst comes after a spate of unconfirmed allegations including reports that tests on a liquid found in the family's hire car suggest the four-year-old might have overdosed on sleeping tablets.

Toxicological analysis showed Madeleine consumed a "significant" quantity of the pills, the French newspaper France Soir reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources in Portugal.

But Mr McCann said that he and his wife knew they were innocent - but were frightened and had been "backed into a corner".

"There are large craters in every one of these theories, in these just ludicrous accusations," he told a friend quoted in The Sun.

"As far as Kate and I are concerned, there is no evidence to suggest that Madeleine is dead.

"We are 100% together on this, not one grain of suspicion about each other."

Meanwhile, Kate's father, Brian Healy, also spoke out to confirm that she and Gerry had been considering trying for a baby before Madeleine vanished.

"Having another child was something they've been thinking about," he told the Daily Mirror.

"But that was before Madeleine went missing.

"Now all they want is Madeleine back, and they're not thinking about anything else.

"Children are the most important thing in their lives."

The news comes as Portuguese police prepare to reinterview Kate over Madeleine's disappearance - so they can ask her over 40 questions she previously refused to answer.

It has been 134 days since the little girl went missing from her family's Algarve holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Shock reports in some of the other national newspapers also suggest that the little girl died of a sleeping pill overdose.

A damning police dossier is said to show that body fluids found in the boot of the Renault Scenic rented by parents Kate and Gerry, both 39, suggest she was drugged, according to the Daily Express.

Meanwhile, sniffer dogs have allegedly detected blood in an apartment close to the flat where Madeleine went missing, it was claimed in the Daily Mirror.

But, in a desperate bid to prove their innocence, reports in the Daily Mail indicate that the couple have challenged the police to produce their daughter's body as proof they killed her.

These astonishing allegations have thrown Kate - who remained silent when detectives initially put the questions to her in the presence of her lawyer, according to the Portuguese newspaper Publico - back into the spotlight. It is understood that police are now preparing to reinterview her, possibly in Britain or at headquarters in Portmoa, Portugal.

They also want fresh interviews with some of the friends on holiday in Portugal with her and Gerry.

Mrs McCann's private diary documents her struggles to look after her " hysterical" children and reveals details about the night Madeleine went missing, it was reported yesterday.

The diary is among a number of personal items prosecutors want from the young girl's parents, sources close to the investigation said.

Mrs McCann was frequently seen writing her journal in private moments after Madeleine went missing from the family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

Unconfirmed reports in Portuguese newspapers suggested that her journal portrays Mrs McCann as being worn out by Madeleine's "excess of activity ".

She also complains her husband does not help with family chores, meaning that the burden of looking after their twins falls on her, according to the Correio da Manha.

Although Kate McCann does not confess to any crimes in the diary, it is considered "fundamental" to the investigation, the paper said.

A McCann family spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny any of the reports.

Belfast Telegraph


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