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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 23:00 GMT
Man charged with Shannon kidnap
School photograph of Shannon Matthews
Shannon Matthews: Went missing for three weeks
A man who was found by police in a flat with a missing nine-year-old schoolgirl has been charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Shannon Matthews was discovered on Friday at the flat in Batley Carr, West Yorkshire, 24 days after disappearing from nearby Dewsbury.

Her stepfather's uncle, Michael Donovan, 39, formerly known as Paul Drake, was arrested at the property.

Mr Donovan will appear before Dewsbury magistrates on Tuesday.

'Assessing evidence'

Peter Mann, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) West and North Yorkshire complex case unit, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with the police in connection with this case since the arrest of Michael Donovan, formerly known as Paul Drake, on Friday March 14.

"As the case has developed we have been carefully examining and assessing the evidence in order to come to a charging decision at the earliest possible opportunity.

"Having carefully considered all of the material supplied by West Yorkshire Police, we have made the decision that there is sufficient evidence and have authorised that Michael Donovan should be charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. We will continue to keep this case under constant review as it develops.

"Michael Donovan will be appearing at Dewsbury Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning."



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