Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Anger on Shannon estate

Residents during the search for Shannon
Residents and members of the media joined the police hunt for Shannon.

For 24 days they joined the search for Shannon Matthews, praying for her safe return.

And now the residents of Dewsbury Moor's Moorside Estate are feeling angry, hurt and betrayed, after learning that they had been duped by the nine-year-old's mother.

Karen Matthews watched her friends, family and the wider community as they hunted for her daughter, despite knowing where she was all along.

One resident said Matthews "ought to be hung".

"She's a total waste of space," he said. "Look how she lied on the television and stood outside our house crying."

Stones thrown

Karen Matthews' friend Julie Bushby said: "People were leaving their kids going out searching for Shannon so there's no way she could come back on here.

"She'd have to start afresh somewhere else.

"I mean when Shannon was missing, there was always somebody from the estate who was out putting posters up, putting leaflets through doors with pictures of Shannon on; just walking round with the T-shirt on.

"And we did that for nearly four weeks. And at end of day, there was a lot of hard work in the estate put into it. And now, it's just betrayal."

One woman told how "everybody felt really let down and disappointed" when they realised what had really happened to Shannon.

Julie Bushby
Julie Bushby said she would continue to visit Matthews in prison

Matthews' brother Martin, who lives on the estate, said: "We were looking under hedgerows and long grasses and thinking the worst and all along Karen knew where she was."

Mr Matthews said his house had been searched by police numerous times during the hunt for Shannon, and he and his partner Lynn had come under suspicion from neighbours.

He said: "I have had stones thrown at me on one occasion. Lynn's been spat on."

Shannon's disappearance also had an effect on her friends at school.

One mother said: "I had to sit my nine-year-old down and she's in Shannon's class, and say 'I don't want you to come down and put the telly on and see the headlines, you really need to prepare yourself that someone's taken her and they have killed her'.

"I didn't have to put my daughter through that and that's where the anger comes."

And Shannon's cousin Vicky Saunders said: "With her being missing it was so devastating because she always used to come here after school and play with my three daughters.

"I won't see her again but I write to her and pass them [the letters] on to social services so she knows that we are still here for her and we are still thinking about her."

Shannon: The Legacy, will be shown on BBC1 in the Yorkshire area at 1830 GMT.

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