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Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Published at 03:51 GMT 04:51 UK


Eappen uncle says family must 'move on'

The Eappens with baby Matthew

The uncle of the baby Matthew Eappen, the child Louise Woodward was convicted of killing, has spoken of the family's wish to "move on."


Paul Spellman: "No one should ever profit from such a horrible, vicious crime"
Speaking in response to Woodward's interview with the BBC's Panorama programme, Paul Spellman said the Eappens were looking to the future and "cherished" their new child, Kevin.

"We try to move on and get past these obstacles. Our primary concern is our family," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night programme.

But the Woodward interview had set the process back to an extent, he said.

"Every time this is going to happen is going to bring extra, added pain and difficulty towards us."


[ image: Paul Spellman says, on paper, Louise was qualified to look after Matthew]
Paul Spellman says, on paper, Louise was qualified to look after Matthew
Mr Spellman questioned the ethics of interviewing a convicted killer - Woodward continues to carry a manslaughter charge for the death of the eight-month-old baby.

"I'm having a difficult time with it in that should we glamorise her as a convicted killer and give her an interview like this?

"Should she be trusted with any of the words she says. Do convicted killers tell the truth? If not on the stand certainly we cannot expect them to in an interview."

Civil court action

Despite the Eappen family's hope of putting the matter to rest, Mr Spellman said they had to press on with a civil court action against Woodward to stop her profiting from telling her story.

Woodward, who has consistently denied killing Matthew, has said in public that she does not plan to sell her story to a newspaper.

"No one should ever profit from such a horrible, vicious crime and certainly not the killer," he said.

Child-care charity

"We simply would like to see any proceeds resulting from this go to a good child-care charity that will help prevent this from ever happening again to anyone else's child."

He appealed to the British media to "continue to give us the support that we need here."

Responding to Woodward's admission that she was not entirely gentle with baby Matthew, Mr Spellman rejected the suggestion that she had been poorly qualified to look after children.

"Louise was a professional herself. I'm sure she was described as a professional, trained child-care giver and she was not asked to be any more than that. She was not asked to be a nanny" but a "childcare giver."

The BBC's interview and the e-mail sent to BBC News online by the police officer who arrested the former au pair, has drawn wide interest in America.

Internet editions of the New York Times, New York Post, Boston Post and USA Today all carry comments made by Woodward to the Panorama programme.



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