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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 21:05 GMT
Man remanded over Shannon kidnap
Mike Donovan sketch

A man has appeared in court charged with the kidnap and false imprisonment of Shannon Matthews.

Michael Donovan, 39, of Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, West Yorkshire, is accused of taking the nine-year-old schoolgirl on 19 February.

The youngster was discovered less than a mile from her home in Dewsbury on Friday, 24 days after she went missing on the way home from school.

Mr Donovan was remanded in custody until 26 March by Dewsbury magistrates.

There was no application for bail made by Mr Donovan's solicitor, Malcolm Knowle.

Mr Donovan will next appear via video link at Leeds Crown Court.

The defendant is charged with two offences, unlawfully kidnapping the schoolgirl and imprisoning her against her will.

Mr Donovan is the uncle of Shannon's stepfather Craig Meehan, 22.

It is believed Shannon is now in the care of Kirklees Family Services on a voluntary basis.

She will not be going home for some time while West Yorkshire Police continue the investigation.

About 60 detectives are still assigned to the case.

Michael Donovan arrives at court

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