Monday, October 22, 2007

Guilty until proven innocent?

It's uncomfortable viewing isn't it? How many times have you seen this image since May? A lot of taxi drivers seem to have it in their cabs and of course we are bombarded with images of this little girl in the newspapers daily. It reminds me of the Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman case, we can all close our eyes and see them in their football jerseys smiling at us.

I have a confession to make, forgive me but I have judged, I judged Jessica and Holly's parents after they disappeared, "how could they let them wander off? What age were they?" Their parents were at a house party, (I think in one of their homes) and the kids wandered off to the shops, Ian Huntley the evil, evil man took advantage of this and then taunted us with his lamenting the childrens disappearance on Sky News, until he was arrested and charged. I blamed the parents, I didn't say anything, I saw their pain and anger I was a mother myself but I blamed them! How could they put their own happiness and recreation before their children's safety?

And now, when I heard a couple had left their children alone in their holiday apartment and gone for wine and tapas, only to return and discover that their four and a half year old daughter had disappeared, I have to admit I thought serves them right! I know it's cruel but for fuck sake! Who leaves their kids locked in an apartment? The creche was still open in the complex (opened till ten) if you can't eat in the apartment while the kids sleep or you don't want to then get babysitting or leave them in the creche! I expected these people to be scumbags (alcoholics perhaps...drug users) but they are doctors! I'm sorry but am I the only person who thinks this is insane?

I have holidayed with my kids, we all eat together, and any of my friends operate the same method. I know nobody who would leave their child in an apartment and go out to dinner just like at home, nobody I know would head over to the local pub while the kids were in bed. This is why we are willing to believe that Madeline's parents might have harmed her, because they ignored the base instinct as a parent, that of protecting your kids, they left a four and an half year old and one year old twins alone in an apartment, with locked shutters and an open patio door. What if there had been a fire, or if one of the children had woken and started to cry? These parents have shown themselves to be sub par, maybe lots of parents do this, maybe I am naive, but I think this is why we are so eager to believe that these parents hurt their child in some way.

Now my son will be 10 in march and I am being forced to allow him some freedom, it's so incredibly difficult. He was ill a few weeks ago, home from school, but I had to bring my daughter to Montessori and buy some food (we are always running out of food here) so I agreed to leave him, I locked the door, told him not to open the door TO ANYONE....EVEN FAMILY! I called him every ten minutes, he got really pissed of with me calling, I took the matches with me (better to be safe than sorry), It was so amazingly stressful for me, he was grand cuddled on the sofa watching Spongebob! I found it hard to leave my nearly 10 year old son, who is capable of calling me if he needed me, I have a four year old daughter who I would never leave (I wouldn't leave her even if she were 10...but that's a different story), I can't understand how they thought it was OK to do what they did.

Maybe this was the first time they ever left their child, but does that make it OK? I just feel all this discussion about what happened is distraction, distraction from the one hard fact here; these parents left their child alone, as I write this there is a report on Sky News about an English child who has fallen from a bedroom balcony in Majorca the child was sharing the room with her mother but they can't find her mother. What is wrong here? When we go on holidays we don't go on holiday from being a parent, if that's what we want we should leave our children at home.


  1. I have to say I totally agree & I think most people do agree about the gross irresponsiblity of the parents leaving the kids. Someone told me that they've held onto their belief since that this was not wrong, don't know if this is true.

    I also find it very sinister that they've gone mediawhore on it, I call them the posh & becks of the lost kid world - just look at the 1000s of kids stolen every day in China. People say wouldn't you do all you can if you're child was missing, but it doesn't fit in with how careless they were before. I imagine they're compensating for the guilt of having left their kids. Or they came back and found the kid dead & covered it up. Eitherways i feel sorry for Madeline but not their parents who should be charged with negligence.
    I think their other children would be best without them.

  2. I agree about the Mc Canns. Can't understand leaving kids in an apartment like that, kids of any age, away from home, but especially very young, very vulnerable kids. Most of us wouldn't leave toddlers in a seperate room for 1 minute let alone, leave an apartment.
    Not so sure about the Holly and Jessica case. They were older and kids of that age, certainly where I live, walk to school on their own and go to the shops on their own etc. etc. You can't watch a 10 or 11 year old all the time or, if you want to watch them 100 per cent of the time, you couldn't let them out.

  3. I let my little guy out to play,just on the green on front of our house, he's not allowed out of the line of sight from the house and next September he will be 10 and a half and in fifth class, so he is gonna be allowed to walk the 8 minute walk home, but if I was having a BBQ or a party in my house I'd be aware that my eye would be off the ball and he'd be stuck in the garden!!! I know I'm so mean!

  4. Weird that all it takes is for one person to admit to something like this and then others feel they can admit it too.

    As a parent I would never EVER have left my kids of that age unsupervised where they did, even if asleep.

  5. I don't think you are naive at all. It is a disgrace the way these parents well parented. I have been following this story closely since it began, and from what I can make out this was not the first time to do this, also there was reports of sedatives also been used to help the kids go to sleep, how untrue or true this is I dont know but it makes me sick to think that this is the level they may have gone to for some fucking tapas.

    I hope this case can shed some light on what the hell happened that night, and I hope to god, even though they should be punished, that Gerry and Kate are found to have had no involvement. If it transpires that they are involved I would find this one of the sickest crimes I have encountered in my 35 years, with the way they have played the media game etc.

    Anne Enright the Booker prize winner from Bray, had an essay of hers dragged up from the past about what we are discussing here, unfortunately last weekend she felt the need to apologise for it, have a read yourself, I personally dont think she should have apologised.

  6. My lovely hubby read the essay to me last week, it was fasinating, she expressed how most people I think feel. There is no way she should have to apologise is there? Maybe I should be more of the "walk a mile in my shoes" if you are gonna judge me? You know if they were poor and uneducated I think I'd be more tolerant of this neglect, "sure they can't have know better", And everyone who reads this blog knows I am no stranger to the stresses of being a parent with young kids, but I just can't understand how they haven't had their other kids taken away from them...That makes me a bad person doesn't it?