Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

In pictures: Shannon's kidnapping

Shannon Matthews

Schoolgirl Shannon Matthews disappeared after a swimming trip with her school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on 19 February. Twenty-four days later she was found alive under a bed in nearby Batley Carr.

Police dog search teams search Crows Nest Park near the home of missing child Shannon Matthews.

Shannon's disappearance triggered a huge search. West Yorkshire Police said the operation was the biggest missing person's case it had undertaken since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

Candles lit for Shannon Matthews

Some 200 volunteers joined police in the hunt for the then nine-year-old. Candles were lit during prayer services and missing-person posters appeared on lampposts throughout the area.

CCTV footage of Shannon Matthews

As the search intensified, CCTV footage was released showing Shannon leaving Dewsbury Sports Centre after a school swimming trip, a short time before she disappeared.

Karen Matthews

Shannon's mother, Karen, held an emotional press conference to coincide with Mother's Day, appealing for her daughter's safe return. Soon afterwards the Sun newspaper offered a 20,000 reward.

Police at Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, where missing nine-year-old Shannon Matthews was found alive

On 14 March, after a search into some 1,800 premises, Shannon was found alive at a property in Batley Carr, West Yorkshire.

Michael Donovan

The court heard that when police had called at Michael Donovan's flat looking for Shannon, they had initially received no answer - but neighbours had said he was in and that they had heard a child.

Bed base where Shannon Matthews and Michael Donovan were found

An officer told the jury he had heard a child's voice, before finding Shannon hidden in one side of a bed base and Donovan in the other. He said she had been frightened and crying.

Note with rules for Shannon

Police also found a set of written rules about what Shannon was allowed to do. Tests showed she had been fed temazepam tablets and travel sickness pills to keep her quiet during her incarceration.

Strap used to restrain Shannon Matthews

The search of Donovan's flat uncovered a strap tied to a roof beam. The court was told Shannon had been tied to it while Donovan went out.

Michael Donovan's flat

Following the trial of Matthews and Donovan, police released footage of the interior of the flat in Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, where Shannon was held captive.

Michael Donovan's flat

The prosecution told the jury that Shannon had been held in the flat as part of a plot hatched by Matthews. Donovan said he was scared of Shannon's mother and had feared for his life.

Karen Matthews being led to court

Prosecutors described Shannon's kidnap as a "wicked and dishonest plan" to collect a 50,000 newspaper reward for the little girl's return.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific