AUTO examination of witnesses
Date diligence: 2007/05/10 Time: 16h35m
Name: Jane Michelle Tanner
Natural Town: England County: England
Nationality: English Date of birth: 1971 /**/**
Marital Status: Domestic Partnership Occupation: Marketing Manager
Since she is English and does not understand the Portuguese language, neither spoken nor written, this official document was made with a translator, Fi.Ma.da Co.Si. in attendance.
She met her companion/husband about 10/11 years ago having begun to live with him as his wife a short time after.
About 4 years before, through her companion ROB, who at that time was a colleague of GM (Gerry; father of MBM), she met the McCann couple. One of the reasons for the closeness between the two couples, besides the professional acquaintance, both ROB and GM are medical doctors, was the fact they have children, MBM and El.OB, of approximately the same age. Another very important reason was the fact that FP is a common friend of both couples (FP worked with KHM), she having facilitated the relationship.
As for meeting with the McCanns she said sporadic meetings have already occurred between the group, recalling that the first trip they made together was when FP and DP were married in Italy in August 2003. She thinks that all the people in the present group were at the wedding recalling that the McCanns, at that time, had only one child (the missing MBM).
Since she became a mother (of El.OB, almost 4 years old), she went to Italy to the above wedding; to Germany to visit a friend (a former colleague of ROB, named B.D. – she was a trainee at the place where her husband worked in England). Also she went to Australia in Nov/Dec 2006 for six weeks. On that trip she went with only her companion and the two girls.
In May 2005 she was in Greece for one week with ROB and her daughter. It was the first time they travelled using the Mark Warner agency.
Also they had had holidays in England in August 2004 (Cornwall) and April 2006 (Longleat nature reserve). Those holidays were spent solely with DP and FP, and their respective children.
With the McCanns they began to meet at parties, for example weddings and birthdays. She met KH’s mother, whose name she does not recall, on MBM’s third birthday last year, but she didn’t get to know any of the other McCann family members, knowing that both had siblings but not knowing other details.
This was the first time that all four couples had holidayed together.
She knows that, in Sept 2005, the McCanns and the Paynes holidayed together in Majorca, she [and ROB] not having joined them because of her advanced state of pregnancy.
The deponent was in Portugal three time before. The first was some eight years ago and the the second five years ago, both with her husband in Albufeira and both were holidays. The third time in January 2004 was for work near Vilamoura. She came to organise an event for the company where she worked, “Fisher Sientific” in Leicester.
Asked about her private life she said that she [has] never had marital problems with her companion, saying that she believes it is “100%” at all levels.
As for the professional life of GM, that he is a cardiologist, and of her companion ROB, that he works/specialises in ‘Emergencies’ [and] said that her husband [has] never had any disciplinary or criminal action in relation to his profession.
About GM, on this subject she does not knows if he had any problem at any time.
FP and DP were the people who had the idea to come to Portugal for holidays. They chose the time because it was cheaper, and less heat for the children. They took only one week of holiday, where they intended to return home/to work on the last Saturday and Tuesday, respectively. Monday was a public holiday in UK.
They caught the plane directly from Gatwick to Faro at 08:30 on 28 May 2007. The agency that organised it was Mark Warner. They arrived at Faro airport at 10:00. They went to the “Ocean Club” tourist complex in Praia da Luz-Lagos in a Mark Warner bus. The journey was made with her companion and daughters together with the Oldfield couple, Matthew and Rachael, along with their daughter.
As for the Payne and McCann couples, they journeyed by plane from East Midlands to Faro, having arrived around 11h00. They took a taxi from Faro to Luz arriving at 12h00 also on 28 May.
On the plane they did not know anyone specific, allowing, as usual, for someone with children to have introduced [themselves] and made some comment. On the other hand, she recalls one couple on the plane who changed seats because her girls were making a lot of noise, which is normal because, like all kids, they are very restless.
On arrival the rooms were already assigned, [they] having asked, when buying the holiday in England, to stay in apartments close to one another. The only change needed was, due to the children, the flights at different times as said above.
As for the holidays, on the first day (Saturday, 28 April 2007) they had dinner in the complex, making their way to Restaurant Millenium. No-one booked dinner at that restaurant, all, including the children, having gone for dinner around 18h00.
The Millenium used to serve dinner on other days (except Saturday) only from 19:30 and, for this reason, they decided to start dining at the Tapas, seeing that, in addition to the above, they would be closer to the apartments. This was discussed at the table in the Millenium on the first night.
Dinner was taken at the Tapas in order to be closer to the apartments where the children were sleeping.
At first dinner was booked each day having later been diarised as a permanent booking for 20h30 until the end of the stay.
It is normal (culturally, traditionally, education/examples seen) [for] English tourists to leave, for some time, their small children alone in the bedroom/apartment to sleep while the parents are absent, normally guaranteeing that it is done for short periods of time (15/30 minutes). At those times there is a sporadic check, in time, of the places where the children are.
She admitted that on her holiday in Greece she also left her daughters alone in the apartment knowing that there were two or three child-minders in the block where they stayed to take care of/ascertain the noises (screams, cries, or other), [it being] incumbent upon [the minders] to notify the parents who, meanwhile, were absent. Those holidays were also organised by Mark Warner.
Since it was asked of her, she affirmed that she had no knowledge that the McCanns had left the patio sliding door open, suspecting, however, that they did because she saw, several times, the couple climb the steps at the rear of the apartment. She never entered apartments of other couples limiting herself only to listen for any noise, putting her ear to the children’s bedroom window at the front of the apartment. Only with her own children did she enter the apartment, in all others she limited herself to listen at the doors to see if there was any noise. She thinks that all the other couples entered by the front doors of the building/apartments, except for the McCanns. She is not sure if they always entered the apartment from the rear.
Questioned, she relates that, from memory, she always saw the blinds of the McCann apartment totally closed, it being a place where she placed her ear to know if any of them were asleep.
Personally, in relation to her daughters, she has not habitually adopted this posture, namely, to leave them alone, having done it only because all the couples of the group did it. However she locked all the doors, also the external blind of the children’s bedroom.
As for the security methods effected by the adults in relation to the children, when they went to dinner and the children remained sleeping in the apartments, the deponent clarifies that, in the first days each couple went in rotation to check their own children. As days passed they were asking one of the members who had stood up if they had heard any noise at their apartment.
However, the deponent and her husband maintained regular checks on their own children.
They were always on foot, having no motor vehicle, own or rented. Movements were never far as the group always remained in the complex or its surrounds (the beach or supermarket). Activities were in Praia da Luz and organised by Mark Warner.
In the tourist complex last Sunday, 30 April, she net a copule she knew from Exeter, Jim and C. G., with their son of 20 months, B.G. She knew they had travelled on the same day as her, on a different flight. Asked, she relates that they had a hired car, not knowing the brand, model or colour. He (Jim) liked to surf and that was why he had hired the car.
Not untrusting, she never suspected that anyone might do harm to any of the children, never having observed any [such] behaviour by clients, workers or other people with [either] the group or children.
Of the group only DP and FP knew/had been to her home at the above address in Exeter. None of the other group members had ever been to her home.
About 2 May, the day before the disappearance of MBM, from memory, at 09h00 the deponent had a tennis lesson with Kate.
Every day they had breakfast at the Millenium restaurant and only afterwards did they take the children, on foot, to Kids Club, it being that ROB took El to Mini Club and she took Ev.
Questioned about the route that the McCanns took with their children to Kids Club (since they took breakfast in the apartment), she said she did not know.
At 10h10 the children at Kids Club, her daughter El (and MBM), a total on six children including them, also had a tennis lesson. The responsible adults at the time were Cat and Georgina (tennis instructor). Kate was, together with the deponent, watching the lesson of their respective girls. The witness left before the class ended, not recalling if KM left at the same time or later.
She went to the beach where she met DP and FP. She and other members of the group made the acquaintance of, in the course of their tennis classes, a lady called O., the deponent’s husband, ROB, also knew the lady’s husband named Rob from windsurf classes. The couple (Rob and O.) were also guests at the complex. That morning, after having been to her daughter’s tennis class, the deponent went to the beach meeting Rob there. From what she knows, the couple Rob and O. have two children (a girl of 3 years and a younger child, not knowing if it was a boy or girl). She thinks they were Londoners. They were “normal” people.
While she was sailing, her husband stayed at home with Ev who was sick and indisposed. Questioned, she relates that this type of behaviour is normal with the British, namely, it is not necessary for both adults to sacrifice themselves when children are sick. The usual procedure in these situations is for them to divide the time and the tasks between them.
She recalls that after the boat trip she was with her husband and girls, all having gone to lunch at the apartment of FP and DP. She is not sure but thinks that MO and RMO also lunched with them in the apartment. She does not know where the McCanns lunched.
After lunch, after they took El to Kids Club, ROB went to the beach for a canoe class while she rested in the bedroom with Ev. After her daughter woke up she went with her to the children’s play area (“slides”) next to the pool.
She doesn’t remember, but as GM usually had tennis classes every afternoon, she thinks that he could have been on the court. As for KM, she does not know if she saw her during the afternoon.
As usual at 17:00, they were at the children’s tea with Kate, the time at which they would go to find [pick up] the children. With Kate and Gerry she went to the tennis courts where the adults and children of the group played [seriously] and played [for fun], respectively, with each other. They were at the courts until 19h00. At that time the men of the group (though she was not sure if GM was there) stayed a while longer to play tennis, the women went to their respective apartments to get [the children] ready for bed. 20-30 minutes later the men arrived. They got themselves ready for dinner. At 20h35, as El didn’t want to sleep, ROB went to the restaurant alone. Around 20h45, El fell asleep and the deponent also left for the restaurant. When she arrived everyone else was already there, except for Rachael who was feeling poorly and stayed in her apartment. Her husband, MO, was at the restaurant. She doesn’t recall if DP and FP were already there. It is usual for them to always be last to arrive, since they were always late.
About dinner, she relates that nothing abnormal happened regarding the checking of the bedrooms, it having been done in turns as usual.
Questioned about an episode where she related that one of the twins, Sean, and MBM (both children of GM and KH), had cried in the night (the one prior to the events) she said she knew of that situation but only from the beginning of dinner on 3 May when KH commented at the table that MBM had, that morning, asked the reason why her parents had not come to the bedroom when she and her brother had cried (the previous night). Asked, she says that none of the adults were aware of that situation on the night that it supposedly occurred.
On Wednesday (2 May), after the dinner that went as normal, like the previous days, they had stayed later to have a drink at the bar returning to their apartments close to midnight.
As for 3 May she related in the same manner exactly the same activities/routines/times of that day, as had been described in her previous testimony. The times/intervals were exhaustively confirmed.
Requested to clarify certain details she said:
To confirm that the first time that she went to the beach with the children was 3 May in the morning. Only on 3 May (Thursday) afternoon she met the group, almost all, in Prais da Luz, except for the McCanns because they had a private tennis class together.
Around 17h15 she saw KH “jogging” on the beach, having waved [a hand].
Her husband ROB, MO and DP left the beach a little earlier they having gone to the tennis courts, it was the night of the men’s tennis. When she, together with the friends and children, returned from the beach, at 18h20, they went to the tennis courts having seen that all the men, including GM, were on the court. They stayed to talk to them them for about 20/30 minutes. GM comported himself as usual.
She thinks that KH was in the apartment getting the children ready for bed.
Around 19h00 each one went to their apartment with the children. She bathed her daughters, she read them a story, she put them to bed. Ev was sick and had difficulty with sleeping stayed with her father, who had arrived in the meantime, (on the previous night the deponent stayed later in the bedroom because her daughter had difficulty in sleeping; on this night it was her husband’s turn). She left the apartment and went to the Tapas, for dinner, around 20h30.
When she arrived at the restaurant there were already some adult members of the group, namely the McCanns, without their children. They [the children] were supposedly sleeping.
Around 21h00 her husband arrived at the restaurant, Ev, meanwhile, having fallen asleep.
As usual, the Paynes and mother, were late. A few minutes to 21h00 MO left the restaurant and went to the apartment area, saying that he would ‘hurry up’ the couple that was already late enough. She related that MO, on the way, took the opportunity and looked in on the children’s bedrooms. She relates that MO passed the Payne’s and DW on the way, but, benefiting from them already being up and on their way [i.e. because he did not have to go all the way up to their apartment], he made a circuit to listen at the homes, detecting nothing abnormal.
They ordered dinner and waited for the starters when, about 21h10, GM left the restaurant having gone to the apartment to see his children. Five or ten minutes later the deponent left, having gone to her apartment to check that all was well with her girls. At that time she observed GM talking to an English citizen called Jez that they had met on these holidays. He played tennis with them. She doesn’t know if they saw her giving the assurance that, on her part, she did not start a conversation with either of them.
She passed them knowing that GM had already been in the apartment to see the children.
She doesn’t recall the position/orientation of either Jez or GM while they spoke to each other on the street, only having the perception that one was on the pavement and the other was in the road next to the other. Jez had a baby carriage, the deponent knowing that he had a small child.
Prompted, she clarified that the reason she left, following GM only 5/10 minutes later, she relates that she did it because she knew that he would only go to his apartment, reiterating that she checked her daughters regularly.
Questioned about the path she took on the way to her home, she relates that she left the reception at the entrance to the Tapas/pool area and went up the pavement to the corner, having entered the apartment by the front door, which was, as already stated, locked. The only access to the interior of the home is by that door, seeing that the windows and the sliding patio door to the lounge were locked from the inside, it being this way that they are only passable if they are opened, also from the inside.
Asked [about] the route of GM to his home when he went to check on his children, she relates that she does not know, but that she knows that he, at times, accessed the home by the glass lounge door which was only closed but not locked. She explains that this was the easiest and fastest way to enter the McCann apartment as they have a stairway up to the veranda which is next to the pavement, saving thereby half [the distance of] the route. Questioned, she relates that all the couples had to access their respective apartments by the front door, except the McCanns since they were the only ones who left the glass door unlocked.
Prompted to say if she checked the state of the windows and external blinds of the McCann children’s bedroom when she went to her house, she relates that no, she did not look in that direction, hence they might already have been open without her having noticed.
After having gone to see the child she returned to the restaurant. On her return GM was no longer talking where she had seen him.
When she arrived at the restaurant GM was already seated at the table accompanied by his wife KH and all the others.
Between 15 to 20 minutes later her husband ROB and MO left, together, and went to see their respective children. As her daughter Ev was restless and crying ROB stayed in the bedroom.
Meanwhile, MO went to check his children and those of GM and KH. According to what he said, he saw the twins but he did not see MBM probably because he did not enter the bedroom. As he heard no noise he left presupposing that all was well, returning to the restaurant. MO told her that ROB had stayed in the bedroom.
After having quickly eaten the main course she went to the apartment to take the place of her husband so that he could finish his meal. Her husband returned to the restaurant. Some time later, she doesn’t know precisely how long, she looked through the lounge window towards the restaurant area, ascertaining, strangely, that there was no-one seated at the table it being that it was still very early for all of them to have already finished the meal. Later she heard voices of KH and FP who were in the corridor in front of the bedroom windows and who called, desperately, for Madeleine. When she saw her it was KH herself who told the deponent that Madeleine had disappeared, not clarifying in what circumstances, continuing her search. The deponent stayed in her apartment because her daughter, El, was asleep and the smallest, Ev, was still awake and complaining.
As it was asked of her she relates that she did not go into the McCann apartment therefore she does not know the state of the bedroom nor any details of what happened that night. Now, already she had heard many versions or theories of what could have happened, but, for her part, she can only affirm that the man that she saw carrying the child was, in her belief, associated with the disappearance of MBM.
She was then confronted with the fact that when her husband ROB and MO went to check their respective children the window already might have been open and MBM probably no longer in her bed. She clarifies that she cannot answer for them but thinks that MO had not entered the McCann children’s bedroom, limiting himself to hear that there was no crying and that the twins were in their beds. Asked if he couldn’t have checked for noise at the bedroom window, as had been done many times, the deponent clarifies that MO had assured the parents that he would go to check the state of the children from inside the house. For this he went up the pavement to the main entrance of the apartments, entered [his] house and turned to leave, descended the pavement again to the rear entrance of the McCann flat, climbed the steps and accessed the lounge through the glass door (that was not locked). Anyway, a better understanding of these details can only be provided by MO himself.
Confronted with the information that the [tracker] dog teams had followed/followed the scent trails in which, purportedly, MBM had not passed the intersection where she indicated a man carried a child, she affirmed, immediately, that she was not lying, maintaining the honesty of her initial version. That, indeed, there had passed in front of her a man carrying, in his arms, a barefoot child. At the time she had not paid him much attention because it is common, at the OC, for children to pass in the arms of their parents between the creche and their respective homes, when they have collected them from the baby-sitting service. Only it was strange that the child had no cover (blanket) and the way the man walked, rapidly, and how he was dressed, the trousers were slightly wide their entire length, being straight. They (trousers) were as to colour, identical to “corticine” (a type of floor covering), “chino” [Chinese] style. As for the coat it was dark coloured, she was not able to specify what, seeming to be the same material as the trousers, it being a type of “anorak”. As for the footwear she relates that she cannot confirm with certainty but [they were] shoes with a Slight “heel”.
About the description of the child, she confirmed that it was being carried in his arms, with the legs in her direction and barefoot. She thought that it was a female child because the pyjamas were a light colour (seemingly pink to her). She never saw the hair of the child. She never saw it move nor make any sound, thinking that it was asleep.
Subsequently, she had no doubts that it could have been MBM because, through conversations with FP in which [FP] described the pyjamas that MBM had worn that night, which coincided with those she had seen. Questioned why she had not commented to KH what she had seen that night, namely that she had seen a male individual who carried a child with pink pyjamas, she relates that she always avoided making this comment to the McCanns so as not to torture them more in their suffering.
She swore “by everything most sacred” that what she said is true, namely that she saw an individual with a child in his arms. Confronted, she demonstrated the distance at which the man with the child had passed her, and that was gauged to be about 5 metres.
She accepts that, at that moment, although the event had called her attention, she didn’t lay any great stress on it for the reasons already explained.
Regarding the most and best information that might help the present investigation she said she remembered on one night (she thinks it was Tuesday, 1 May) there were two couples, supposedly English, that dined in the Tapas restaurant. After [their meal] they left, [JT] not knowing if they participated in the quiz game that Mark Warner put on during the meal. The game consisted of a MW worker asking questions about films, namely quotations with the objective of identifying the films. At the end the tables were given a questionnaire that gave the source and a result. The first prize was a jug of sangria, curiously won by the deponent’s table. She remembered only [that] the agency lady commented on the the two couples who had left the game before the final result was known.
She never saw those couples before nor since that day. She does not know if they were Mark Warner clients.
Prompted to clarify which member of the group booked the first dinner at Tapas she responded that she did not know. She clarifies that, that morning, she played tennis with Kate going, at the end of the game, to the restaurant to make the booking. She recalls that, when they arrived there, the booking was already made and she had not questioned who had made it. Asked if it would have been her companion ROB who booked that meal, on his own initiative, she relates that it could have been done by any other person but considers [someone with] an excessively organised disposition would have done it, [something] usual of her companion.
On these holidays, she never met nor dined (along with the rest of the group) with any family or person having the surname “Irwin”.
Other than RMO, as already stated previously, only on the first day (Saturday night) was there a group member, MO, feeling indisposed (ill) and not having eaten dinner on Sunday. On Monday he had recovered.
NOTE: I excised the taking of an oral swab as being irrelevant to the story.
Still about the security procedures relating to the children, asked, the deponent clarifies that the Payne’s were the only ones who never went to their apartment because they had, at the table, an intercom device of good quality and power/range that allowed them to hear any noise caused by their children. She adds that, from memory, it was the first time they had used the device on holidays but it is a common procedure in their home, as the deponent has seen for herself.
Questioned, she reaffirms that she doesn’t have any suspicion to put forward – other than the individual referred to as carrying a child in his arms – she doesn’t recall any detail or situation that might be related to the disappearance of small MBM.
Asked, she relates that she does not recall any incident or argument between any of the couples, or any of the group members individually, nor between them and any third parties. Until the ‘unsuccessful/failed’ disappearance of MBM, the holidays had been peaceful and fun, like all such other holidays of the group of friends.