Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 12:49 UK

Shannon mother accused of kidnap

Karen Matthews
Karen Matthews will go on trial on 11 November

The mother of Shannon Matthews, the girl who went missing for several weeks earlier this year, has been charged with her kidnap and false imprisonment.

The new charges were revealed as Karen Matthews appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

The 32-year-old, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, denies those charges and an earlier charge of perverting the course of justice.

Michael Donovan, 40, also from Dewsbury, pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnap and false imprisonment.

The uncle of Mrs Matthews' former partner, Craig Meehan, also now faces a charge of perverting the course of justice, which he denies.

Mrs Matthews did not enter a plea on child neglect charges.

Remanded in custody

Nine-year-old Shannon was found on 14 March, 24 days after she went missing following a school swimming trip.

The schoolgirl was found in Batley Carr, less than a mile from her Dewsbury Moor home.

Reading out the details of the kidnap charge to Mrs Matthews and Mr Donovan, the court clerk said: "On the 19th day of February, 2008, you unlawfully and by force or fraud took or carried away Shannon Matthews against her will."

The false imprisonment charge was read to them as: "Between the 18th day of February 2008 and the 15th day of March 2008 you unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned and detained Shannon Matthews against her will."

The charge of perverting the course of justice said the accused "did a series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice and that you reported to the West Yorkshire Police that Shannon Matthews was a missing person when you knew where she was and you were keeping her from being found".

Both were remanded in custody until their trial on 11 November.

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