5 February 2009

McCann Case: Russell James O’Brien Rogatory Interview Part III-A


  RECORD OF TAPE RECORDED INTERVIEW
Police Exhibit No
AJG223A
Person Interviewed:
Russell James O'BRIEN
Number of Pages
51
Place of Interview:
Force Headquarters, Enderby
Signature of Interviewing
Date of Interview:
10.04.08
Officer producing exhibit
Time Commenced:
1411 hours
Time Concluded:
1613 hours
Duration of Interview:
122 minutes
Interviewing Officer(s)
DC 1578 GIERC
Tape Reference nos:
AJG223
Other Persons Present
Tape counter times
Person speaking
Text

00.00.04
1578
“Okay.  The time is two eleven pm and that’s on Thursday the tenth of April, two thousand and eight. We’re in an interview room at Leicestershire Police Force Headquarters. I’m Detective Constable 1578 Andrew GIERC from the Leicestershire Major Crime Unit. Would you give me your full name and date of birth please”?
Reply
“Yeah it’s Russell James O'BRIEN, twenty sixth of November, nineteen seventy”.
1578
“Thank you Russell. This is the third interview of today, as I’ve stated previously you’re here voluntarily”.
Reply
“Mmm”.
1578
“As a significant witness to assist the Portuguese Authorities in their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine MCCANN in Portugal on the third of May, two thousand and seven. I would now like to move on to some time lines and we have, these are copies of written documents or time lines written on the back of, looks like a kiddies book or something”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“An activity book.  If we could just for a few moments go through these documents”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
00.01.54
1578
“Which one came first”?
Reply
“Erm as we discussed the other day, I’d forgotten these over the year but I think this is an attempt, this is a draft attempt, they’re both in my handwriting, this is a draft attempt, err and then I think I’m transcribing in a slightly more a neater writing, hoping that it’s more legible for other people to read as well, so I think this one came first”.
1578
“So just to differentiate between the two documents”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“One of them has the word ‘Gerald’.”
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“Written towards the lower half of the document and the other one does not”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“You’re saying the one with ‘Gerald’ written on it, was the final document”?
Reply
“Well it was certainly second one, I said I think I was writing this down in a hurry when I”.
1578
“It came after this, this first one”?
Reply
“It came after this one yeah, yeah”.
1578
“So the one that doesn’t bare the name of ‘Gerald’.”
Reply
“Is the earlier one”.
1578
“Was the first attempt, the earlier attempt as you say.  When was this drafted up”?
Reply
“Erm this was drafted er around the time that the initial pair of Officers from the PJ came to 5A (inaudible) early in the morning of the fourth of May, two thousand and seven so erm I can certainly recall writing some of this, I think perhaps the neat, maybe the neater version erm sat down at the table in Gerry’s flat with Gerry erm Dave PAYNE and at least at some stage of it, the two Officers from the, from the PJ”.
1578
“What would have been the time difference between these two documents”?
Reply
“Er that I’m not too sure, I think what, what essentially I’m doing, is I’m, I’ve written something here fairly quickly for myself and then I’ve looked at it and thought it’s, it’s not actually gonna be useful to hand to anyone to read other than me, so I think they’re probably not that far, I’ve written that and then I’ve sat down, perhaps I was writing this with that being on my knee or something and never sat down, but I don’t, I don’t recall the time difference but, but we’re looking at from what I describe about my activities in the run up to this, to these being within you know, a short space of time, half an hour, maybe even less, I don’t think I wrote this, had it in my pocket for a night, the other thing that makes me think that is, is probably the front of the back cover of a book”.
00.04.32
1578
“Yes”.
Reply
“So I’ve probably, I’ve probably written it, thought that’s rubbish, even I can barely read it, let’s start again, I don’t think there’s much time difference”.
1578
“If we look at the ‘Gerald’ one”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“You have a recording at nine thirty”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“Russell O'BRIEN in 5D”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“What does that read”?
Reply
“It says with poorly daughter”.
1578
“Oh sorry, with poorly daughter”.
Reply
“With (inaudible) abbreviation for with”.
00.05.06
1578
“And then there’s nothing until nine fifty five pm”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“And I think at ten pm the, you have the next entry, alarm raised”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“Okay”.
Reply
“After (inaudible) I think all of this is incomplete, I mean that’s an incomplete sentence there, erm yeah that’s alarm raised after Kate and I presume I’m gonna write return to table but, but, but I haven’t”.
1578
“So when we compare the ‘Gerald’ version”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“To the earlier version”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“You see that at nine thirty five, you have written”.
Reply
“Matt checks, Matt checks the twins, checks and sees twins”.
1578
“Matt checks and sees twins”.
Reply
“It looks like that, yeah that what it looks like, as I say it’s, it’s, it’s not even that great for me to read there, but it does say Matt, Matt checks and sees twins, so this is as I said after Matt left me in 5D, he’s gone back and I think there was a, certainly there was a concern that Matt was, whether he actually definitely saw Madeleine at the time or not, he can certainly (inaudible) certainly in the, in the days and hours afterwards I mean Matt was unsure about whether he definitely clocked Madeleine in the room, although he was quite convinced that he, he, both the twins were there, so I think that’s why I’ve written that there”.
1578
“The nine thirty entry on the non Gerald version if you like”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
00.06.32
1578
“Is”?
Reply
“It says Russ and Matt check all three, so this is just an abbreviated time, an approximate time that me and Matt came back from the table to check on the, on the flat and I’ve crossed out Ella there and so it was written in, in haste”.
1578
“And then the, on the ‘Gerald’ version, you have a vertical line between nine thirty and nine fifty five”.
Reply
“Yeah, yeah”.
1578
“What did that signify”?
Reply
“I’m not sure, I don’t know whether this was, this was me trying to get the sort of start and the end together and err and then, and then asked, asked for more, you know more detail of what people were doing.  From a personal point of view I suppose once, once I was in the, in the erm room at nine thirty, I wasn’t, I wasn’t privy to any of the other direct information, so whether this is just sort of me thinking that I’ll need to fill this in later, but you know it’s just a, this is incomplete, this sentence is incomplete and I think at some stage whilst I was writing this, the PJ were very keen to talk to Gerry then I left and I think then Jane came in, so I think this is something that was actually being written at about a point where I left it with the Police and then Jane was, Jane and Gerry were talking to the PJ”.
1578
“Okay.  We have another version here, time line”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“And this is a typed version”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“And it’s headed sequence of events, Thursday the third of May, two thousand and seven, twenty thirty hours to twenty two hundred hours as recalled by, then we have the, the group of adults there.  Are you happy with the content of this document Russell?”
Reply
“Yeah either, (inaudible), this is, this is the document that the group together created erm as we were saying before, after the first weekend, err I think we all felt when we came back from our initial interviews that with the amount of information, the need to, to translate erm, that we came back feeling that, that there was, there was probably a lot of detail that hadn’t been got across about the evening, we were quite keen to try and get a time line together before some of the facts started to become dim for us as well, so I think it was Dave who, who suggested err as I’m not entirely sure of the exact date but certainly on sort of the Monday and the Tuesday perhaps of the, of the, the week after, the week after the abduction”.
1578
“Yes”.
00.09.08
Reply
“Erm you know that we should probably sit down and do this, I think he was quite keen to write it about the whole holiday before the weekend and after erm, I mean in retrospect I think I wish we, I wish we had, erm but we, we settled to do the, you know the immediate period that evening, erm it was typed, I typed it and it was typed on a borrowed laptop from err the tennis coach of Mark WARNER who’s called Georgina, the surname of, of who, I don’t think we have ever, ever known, erm we compiled it over the course of probably a, a couple of sittings during one day.  Kate and Gerry by this point after the weekend were, well they were having meetings with the likes of Alan PIKE the Psychologist that came out to, to see them and they were, they were often erm organising things and speaking to people, the Consulate etc., etc., etc., so we actually saw err you know probably less and less of them as the days wore on, so they weren’t here with the initial draft of it, but we just left their comments to be added later and then we told them that we’d done this and they came, err read it through, added in the bits that were relevant to when you know, when, what they saw and err and when they left the table, as well as the time line erm Jane gave a, a full, as full as possible description of the person she thought she saw carrying a child that may have been Madeleine away and I think erm there’s also a fair amount of detail about some suspicions from, from Gerry that the room might have been in a slightly different way, err than what it was based on his and Matt’s observations of going into the room. So we got, we, we wrote this, we wrote this down very much to try and get a, a permanent record of what we thought as accurate as general as a thought had been in the group, erm having (inaudible), it’s important to say cos we’ve, I get the impression from again you know, from the Police perhaps but, but certainly from what comes out in the Press, that this has been perceived by the PJ as an attempt to, to sort of standardise our answers and you know and make sure that we’re all saying the same thing, it certainly wasn’t created with that intention, it was very much that the original statements were, were brief, were obviously prone to translational difficulties and you know, at no point have we concealed this, I turned up on my second interview and presented them with the, with the stick and said, ‘look we’ve sat down, it’s all typed, we think this is quite accurate, there you go’, so you know, it’s been, it was, it was, it was really quite hard for, you know to hear that, or at least hear the fact be implied that the Police felt that this was some, some conspiracy to try and err and cover things up, this was, this was done to go over the events, down on paper before they become, inevitably they got less and less clear in our mind and we were transparent in that we gave this to the Police at the very next meeting, there was no attempt to conceal this and have this as a hidden document that we were all reading from”.
00.12.18
1578
“Okay. We shall move on to the next phase which is a list of questions I shall ask you and these originate from the PJ”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“And then we shall follow on with Gerry and Kate’s list of questions”.
Reply
“Okay”.
1578
“And then any other business really”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“So firstly, what time did you arrive at the Tapas Restaurant the evening of the third of May, two thousand and seven”?
Reply
“Erm I’d say I think this was probably around quarter to nine”.
1578
“Were you alone or with your wife”?
Reply
“I was alone, Jane had come down to the table five, ten minutes earlier”.
00.13.26
1578
“Who was already sitting at the table”?
Reply
“At the time of arrival, everyone was there apart from the adults in 5H, so that would be Fiona and David and her mum Diane”.
1578
“How often were you checking on your children”?
Reply
“Well”.
1578
“And how”?
Reply
“During the week we, things sort of (inaudible) but in general terms, me and Jane were checking with err between courses, err I know some of the people were doing it more by the clock but we tend to go between courses, sometimes we were also off for you know, we’re listening at, at least the windows and doors of other, of other rooms and checking directly in our own child’s room, erm err as, as we discussed before on a, at least one occasion on the Sunday night I also went into both Matt and Rachael’s flat with a key through their deadlocked door, as with Kate and Gerry’s err patio door to just look in on their kids, erm but generally speaking at least for me, thereafter in the week, I would usually just check internally in ours and listen at the window at, at the other flats before returning, erm in terms of frequency as I say, although some people were doing it by the, by the clock and it was, was relatively ad hoc you know when, when the moment took, I think for me and Jane it was generally in between courses and we’d often alternate”.
1578
“Okay. During the dinner that evening, were you always at the table”?
Reply
“No, erm I say I arrived about quarter to nine and as I described in, in the, my account of, of the evening, I made erm a single trip back to the flat, err and then returned and that was err with Matthew OLDFIELD at about sort of twenty five past nine, somewhere around there. On that visit it was clear listening at the window that Evie had woken up, erm and so as I’ve already, already gone over, I went into the flat, had a wee, Matt came back after checking 5B, he discovered you know that I’d found Evie, that had been awake and she’d vomited, asked if I wanted any help, I said no, he returned via Gerry and Kate, Gerry’s flat, I stayed there err got Evie out, out of her, out of her sort of soiled clothes erm gave her a quick wash and the clothes down, changed her into something else, sat read her a book, Jane came back and then I returned to the table about quarter to ten”.
00.16.14
1578
“As the questions go through, it says if you weren’t at the table, where did you go”.
Reply
“(Inaudible) 5, 5D”.
1578
“And at what time”?
Reply
“So about twenty five past nine I left the table”.
1578
“For what purpose (inaudible)”?
Reply
“To check on the kids and ultimately to stay with Evie”.
1578
“How long were you absent”?
Reply
“It would be in total, it’s between from about twenty five past nine and returning to the table about err, err about quarter to ten”.
1578
“And how many times were you absent”?
Reply
“That was the only, that was the only trip”.
1578
“After the alarm was raised, what did you do”?
Reply
“Erm like the rest of the table, with the exception of Diane, we ran to the foot of the erm, the staircase or the steps outside, err at that point I didn’t go into the flat, a number of people I think stayed just at the, just at the door, some people went in, certainly Gerry, Kate and Fiona err and then obviously erm we started an immediate search as I’ve described before”.
1578
“Who did you talk with”?
Reply
“Is this at any specific time”?
1578
“It follows on from the previous question, so after the alarm was raised, what did you do”?
Reply
“Yeah okay”.
1578
“And who did you talk with”?
Reply
“Well at that point in time, there was only really the group there, err there was no other, no other parties immediately around straight away, erm there was a very brief conversation with you know, some of the other group and to quickly establish what we ought to do straight away, erm I presume some of the others were doing a second search, just inside the flat just to make sure Kate hadn’t missed them but I certainly think that, that Matt and Dave and I think perhaps after a, some (inaudible) Gerry, we, we, we kind of split up, so we had a conversation just about, let’s, you go that way, you go that way, erm but there wasn’t anyone else around I don’t think to talk to, some, somebody went back to the Tapas both to let Diane know about everything you know and I presume the waiters will have been spoken to but it wasn’t, not by me”.
00.18.35
1578
“Did you have any photo of Madeleine in your possession”?
Reply
“Erm we got a photo of Madeleine later on but this is two hours later, erm”.
1578
“So who gave it to you”?
Reply
“Okay well certain, I’m not quite sure what the, the initial, the question made it sound like whoever had one in our possession anyway, I didn’t, erm we got a, we erm, after a portion of my searches, we got hold of erm Kate’s camera, err looked through the digital cam to try and find a picture of Madeleine reasonably recently, reasonably face on and, and with her being the main, the main character on the photograph, erm clearly that that was going through, there were quite a few pictures that were not ideal, so we, we went through those, err and then printed that off, erm all of this taking a reasonable amount of time to try and get hold of equipment and have offices opened and etc., etc”.
1578
“Okay.  What kind of photo was it”?
Reply
“The, it was a, it was a photo of err, it was the one that was being circulated in the, in the days immediately afterwards, I’ve seen so many photographs of her, of Madeleine since, I think it was a photograph that had been taken of her and a relatively number of weeks before and I think with a slightly different, slightly longer hair, erm but it was, it was a fa, it was a fa, it was a relatively full on sort of face on photograph, err and it was printed on a standard size erm four by six err inch, as you know, using the equipment that the people had and we ran off a number of copies of this, erm and several I think were given to the, the GNR”.
00.20.21
1578
“I was going to ask you the next question”.
Reply
“Sorry”.
1578
“Was, who did you give the photo to”?
Reply
“Yeah well I think the ones that I had, I took, you know cos obviously they were printing out, you know they were slow you know, we really wanted to get them to the Police fairly quickly, so I took the first couple of copies and took those round to, I think the GNR staff, I presume they were the origin, you know original uniformed Officers, it wasn’t the PJ, it was well before the PJ arrived, erm there were other copies printed off which I don’t know where they got to but I know that Mark WARNER, somebody in Mark WARNER made a poster, or at least an A4 err saying that there’d been, you know, there’d been a, err an abduction and that Madeleine was missing and that was circulated around the next morning, so somebody had, had, had that photograph and used it for that poster but I took, I don’t know two or three copies maybe and gave them to the Police.  I actually think ultimately there may have been more copies printed off and somebody else gave even more copies to them as well, err and I think some of the other copies were shown, were just shown to people around who were going on the searches but erm personally”.
1578
“The copies that you had, you only gave to the Police”?
Reply
“I gave it to the Police, just to the Police”.
1578
“Do you know who informed the Authorities of Madeleine’s disappearance”?
Reply
“Er as we discussed when we were going through the, the erm, the notes from the, the previous statement, I think erm that this was Gerry and Matt but I was not around, I don’t think I was around at the time, I was second hand information, I was erm, I was probably searching at the time that that happened”.
00.21.53
1578
“Do you know who informed the media of Madeleine’s disappearance”?
Reply
“There were several attempts during the night to, to look about getting an email out to something like Sky or something like that, I don’t actually think that ever happened in the end, just because of practicalities and other people doing it but my inclination is that Rachael, Rachael OLDFIELD spoke to a colleague err back in the UK who either worked for the BBC or at least knew someone who worked for the BBC, so I, I, I think it was Rachael”.
1578
“Do you know when they were informed”?
Reply
“Erm I think I got this out, slightly out of place when we were discussing it before and talked about it really about the next morning, I think I can, I think I can picture err Rachael talking to erm somebody at the News Desk in our, from our flat, err in the dead of night really, so quite err, quite late on, three, four am maybe but I really don’t, I really don’t know, but it was well after the, the main, the main kind of rush of, of, of the search and the events and it’s when we were back at the, back at the apartments later on”.
1578
“So that was the Media”?
Reply
“That was the Media”.
1578
“Do you know when the Authorities were involved”?
Reply
“Well it was during, it was in a period of time when I was doing the search so erm I can only say what, what other people, I know that, I know from speaking to the rest of the group that there was some reluctance on the part of staff down at the Ocean Club reception to ring the Police but they were, they kind of you know, in the end had to sort of insist on it but I think it was, it would have happened not long after that original, original search but I couldn’t put a time on it, I’d be, I’d be, I’d be making one up”.
1578
“Did you take part in any searches”?
Reply
“Yes, and I presume that what I’ve”.
00.23.44
1578
“With, with whom and how were they planned”?
Reply
“Right okay.  Yes as described and, and as described in the last interview, erm there was an initial search of the building, of the perimeter of the building, erm and then we re-met again, I then did a solitary search down the, the west side of the apartments into the car park and shopping centre as I discussed, err there was then a, a joint search with me, Matt and Dave coming, sweeping down the town err towards the ri, the river, err towards the sea and erm then we split up and searched the beach and obviously we lost, we kind of lost each other during this point and then I came back as sort of, as exact manner to the, to being on my own, I then did a, after quite a long time by the apartments did a final search in the, in the sort of, the road out towards Millennium, erm and the, and the adjoining roads that go off into the dark there and then did a, and then on my way back after having met Dan in the car who then carried on going up those roads, I erm did a brief search in the flats to the sort of south side of, of the road that leads up to the Millennium”.
1578
“Okay and how were they planned”?
Reply
“Bad, err very, very, kind of at the drop of a hat, I mean the, the initial search was just, you know just to make sure she hadn’t wandered off, I think there was some planning by some of the Mark WARNER staff, just to make sure that individuals went off in different areas, there wasn’t really a great deal of coordination with the ones that I did, the early ones were happening before there was a group there and the one I did last, probably after, you know whilst I was back, err outside the apartment for a period of time, there was a lot of searching going on that may have been more coordinated than what I was doing, when I went back out, there wasn’t any clear coordination, so I just went to somewhere different that I hadn’t, that I hadn’t checked before”.
1578
“Okay. During your stay at the Ocean Club, did you ever leave your doors open to the apartment”?
Reply
“No I don’t think so, erm certainly when we weren’t using the apartment, it was always completely shut down, we generally kept all the shutters down, just to keep the heat and the sun out of the apartment, so they were reasonably cool for the, for the evenings, when we went, we went to the, the Tapas err in the evenings we, we kind of locked and pulled the shutters down on, on all the bedrooms both front and back, err the patio was locked, erm and then we would go out the main door and there was the option of turning the lock to a sort of dead lock, so it couldn’t be opened either from the inside or the outside without the key, just in case err, you know Ella did get up, which was unlikely but we felt it was easier to do it that way and during the day, I mean occasionally we would sit outside on the patio, err but I don’t think if we went, if we went away from the, from there for any length of time, we would have locked up, I don’t remember leaving it unlocked”.
1578
“Did you ever leave your windows open”?
Reply
“No, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think so, erm generally speaking we didn’t touch them very much, err you know we might have pulled the shutters up during the, during the day, from recollection, the front, the front windows were, were all patio sliding ones and so they were like, you have gone in and out of them but you’d have shut them and the other windows at the, on the kitchen side and the kids bedroom side, I don’t think we opened and closed those very much, I mean we may have given a bit of a breath of fresh air but we didn’t leave them routinely open”.
00.27.34
1578
“In the days prior to Madeleine’s disappearance, did you ever check on your children”?
Reply
“Erm how do, how do you mean, do you”?
1578
“I guess this is”.
Reply
“Just about the routine again”?
1578
“Yes”.
Reply
“So it’s, is that what it says the same, it’s a re-hash of, of an earlier question.  Yes we, we, we err, when we were over on, in the Tapas, we had the routine that I’ve described before, you know generally between courses or at, you know opportune moments we would go back, search in our room, check in our room, listen at the other windows of the others occasionally, would have been, would have been a visit into the others as well and on other peoples trips, they would’ve, of often check their child and that and certainly listen at the other windows and, and on, on some occasions but not all, you know sometimes there was a key passed over as well but I think we’ve described that in some detail before”.
1578
“Yes and the next question is erm, how often and yes you’ve, you’ve covered that”.
Reply
“Mmm yeah, yeah”.
1578
“Between courses etc”.
Reply
“Generally between courses, other people were kind of listening at the windows as well, so although we might not necessarily have gone into our room, however you know, well, we would have gone into our, our room on every occasion when we went back for, other people would have been listening at windows on intervening times as well”.
1578
“So are you able to put an approximate time period on the courses”?
Reply
“Erm, well you know it’s like a starter you know, I would have thought that you know, we get down there, we would have ordered, we would have gone back after the starter, which might have been sort of twenty, you know twenty minutes later, the things came out reasonably, reasonably quickly and then there would have been a gap, you know other people may have gone along on a time basis, sort of during meals and they would have come back and reported that all was clear as well, erm and then you know, another you know, twenty minutes after for the main course, so I think it’s difficult to say you know, absolutely what, what it was, it would have been, it would have varied night to night depending on the speed there but you know, we were going, you know alter, you know me and Jane were generally alternating between courses and other people would have come back and said it’s all quiet on yours, even if they’ve gone at a different stage, based on, on time”.
00.30.04
1578
“On the erm, on the Thursday evening”.
Reply
“Mmm”.
1578
“You went back at one point with Matt”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“And you heard Evie murmuring”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm, mmm mmm”.
1578
“Had anyone else heard her prior to”?
Reply
“No, no, I mean we had, the person who’d been back to our flat before that was obviously Jane, so Jane was the last person who’d been on any form of visit, whether it was listening or not, so she came back and obviously hadn’t reported this, as we haven’t discussed today, but certainly on, on film the other day, we did discuss, we also had a monitor, erm and err as did Dave and Fi but I have, certainly I don’t remember the monitor going off, or hearing, or hearing Evie prior to me going back, I have to say I don’t, you know don’t remember Jane sort of saying, oh she was crying on the monitor as well but erm, as I say, it was more, it was more of a kind of a low whimper, this wasn’t sort of getting back there and she was yelling or anything, it was more of a, I think it, it was just sort of hear her there, so it wasn’t a, it wasn’t a yell, erm I think one of the reasons we were going back as well, I say Dave and Fi used the monitor alone and didn’t do any trips back cos they had this two way monitor, which was, was, was sort of quite you know, you know quite more sort of maybe more expen, more expensive than our model but because we hadn’t heard anything much and we didn’t hear anything at any time, we just wanted to make sure that, that the monitor wasn’t just sort of out of range or anything like that, or not, or not working, erm but I can’t, we didn’t go back me and Matt because I heard anything on the monitor, so whether Evie had just started as I got there, erm I, you know I don’t know”.
1578
“When you were at the Tapas Restaurant, where was the monitor, where was your monitor”?
Reply
“We had, we had the erm, that’s the, if that’s their bedroom”.
1578
“No sorry”.
Reply
“Sorry”.
00.31.53
1578
“The piece that you took with you”?
Reply
“Oh Jane had it”.
1578
“Right”.
Reply
“Yeah Jane had that, Jane (inaudible)”.
1578
“All the time”?
Reply
“(Inaudible), I don’t think you know I had it, Jane, Jane generally had it, erm but the, the monitor was  obviously plugged in, in the flat and then the cable kind of stretched and we just put the, the receiver in the doorway of the, of the, of the children’s room, I think, I think I remember rightly the plug, the plug for it, was, was err, was, was just over the, over the other side of the, of the, bathroom there, the room there, we plugged it in and then the lead sort of went in it, just pointed into the, into the room, so it kind of got the whole room, and it was obviously, using that, it was as near as the, as near to the window as, as was possible as well”.
1578
“Okay. We erm, move on to phones now”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“Did you have your mobile phone with you in Portugal”?
Reply
“I did”.
1578
“And what is the number of it please”?
Reply
“07713 258795”.
1578
“I have a list of numbers here”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“And I’ll ask you in respect of each number who it belongs to”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
00.33.15
1578
“If you could answer, who is the user of phone number 07967 016678”?
Reply
“I’d have to check on my phone again to do this if we’re gonna do it err.  It’s a bit of a, obviously having done these numbers before, before, obviously there’s two out of five that don’t come up on my phone anyway but.  Do you want to do their numbers in reverse order, while this is coming on, because I know that the later ones”.
1578
“Do you want to start at the end and work forwards then”?
Reply
“Well yes”.
1578
“Okay the erm, the last one in the list if you like is 077”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm”.
1578
“853”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“80603”.
Reply
“Just see if that comes up in my list, that is Professor Anthony NICHOLS, who is a Consultant colleague of mine at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, he, there’s three of us that work on a ward and when it’s fairly tight, cos it’s an Emergency Ward, so it, we’re not, there’s not many if one’s off and I was ringing him to say that, unless there was a very miraculous turn of events there, that we would not be back in time to start work on the Monday, err I’d forgotten that he too was actually away err for a couple of days at the end of that week and he’d actually gone over to France, he’s a very keen cyclist and has a house out there, err and I rang him and he literally answered along the lines of, ‘oh hi Russ, I’m on the bike, I’m in Fra, I’m in France’, or something like that and err, so I, it was useless me talking to him anyway, cos he wasn’t actually at work, so he couldn’t pass on any message, so I rapidly hung up, so it’s probably a twenty second call, or something like that, I didn’t tell him anything about what had happened.  I then rang my other colleague, Tom WHITEHEAD”.
00.35.43
1578
“Okay.  The erm, the call in particular that you made to him was at ten fifty two”.
Reply
“Mmm yeah”.
1578
“On the morning of the fourth of the fifth”.
Reply
“Mmm yeah I can remember”.
1578
“So that would fit in with”.
Reply
“I was stood on the balcony of the crèche in, in there and I thought well I need to let work know now, cos this was already Friday morning and in terms of being on call, err and my, you know my general nine to five job and also out of hours, I knew I had to make some, you know arrangements quickly, so that the Hospital could cover my absence”.
1578
“Okay.  The next number is a land line number”.
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“0151 3344469”?
Reply
“That’s my parent’s home in Merseyside”.
1578
“And who are your parents please”?
Reply
“Erm James Robert O'BRIEN and Enid Dorothy O'BRIEN”.
1578
“And whereabouts do they live”?
Reply
“They live at thirty six Bowness Avenue, Bromborough, Wirral, Merseyside, CH63 0EZ”.
1578
“Do you know who the called party was at eight thirteen am and thirteen forty nine pm on the fourth (inaudible)”?
Reply
“Of, to that number”?
1578
“Yes do you know who, who you called”?
Reply
“Who I spoke to, I spoke to my, I would have certainly spoke to my mum, my dad usually doesn’t answer the phone as a general rule, I think I spoke to my mum, I mean I don’t know for sure but err, both were calls for my mum, the eight o’clock in the morning one was to let her know, erm because it was breaking on the news, I think we must have seen the eight o’clock bulletin, actually I thought I’d better let my mum know that, that well, a what’s happened and b that it’s not, it’s not Ella and Evie, I don’t know whether there was a name when they shown the initial reports but err, as I said, I think I said, if not today, then on the first interview that my mum had met Madeleine so I, you know, wanted to make sure that they were aware as early as possible and the later call I’d imagine was just to, you know a supplementary you know call, I don’t know whether that was to me from her or from me to her but as you can imagine we, we made an awful lot of phone calls that holiday”.
00.37.53
1578
“Okay. The next one is a mobile again, 07831 659801”?
Reply
“That’s my mum’s mobile, so actually I’ve got, I think I, I don’t know whether I rang erm the first, whatever, whichever calls to the land line or to that mobile is the earliest, is the call I’ve just described, so erm”.
1578
“Well this was at erm, ten fifty two am”?
Reply
“That morning”?
1578
“On the, on the third”.
Reply
“On the third, erm well that’s to my mum, it was”.
1578
“So this is before”.
Reply
“It probably wasn’t the first call, that’s not the first call, the land line must be the first call then is it”?
1578
“No the land line ones are on the fourth”.
Reply
“Right okay”.
1578
“This is on the third at ten fifty two in the morning, ten fifty two am”?
Reply
“That’s a text message isn’t it”?
1578
“It is indeed you’re correct yes”.
Reply
“Yeah sorry, erm that’s my mum texting me, erm err she often texts me when I’m on holiday after say about, whether she sent it several days before, I don’t remember my erm, my phone being err on a great deal, err I think that was just a text from my mum saying how are things and she has a habit of just sending a relatively mundane, how are yous now and again when we’re on holiday”.
00.39.10
1578
“Would that text message still be on your phone”?
Reply
“Err I did for a long period of time, I kept, I’ve got my other phone here, this was my phone at the time”.
1578
“I appreciate it’s been through the washing machine”.
Reply
“It’s been through the washing machine, I actually kept a lot of texts erm for a long period of time and it may well have been on there but as I say, this has been, this was submitted to the Portuguese Police in July, err I don’t know whether they took any, any sort of things off it at all, I think they were looking for, to try and see if they could ascertain a time which Robert MURAT’s number was put on it more than anything but erm I no longer have the, the, the err access to this phone but you’re more than, it’s useless to me if anyone wants to try and it’s there”.
1578
“Okay.  Next number is a mobile again, 07754 774842”.
Reply
“0754 7748”.
1578
“42”.
Reply
“Yeah that’s, that, that is not on my sim card as a call, as a, as a known caller”.
1578
“Okay, the erm, the question is erm, did they contact you during your holiday, either personally or by phone”?
Reply
“Erm as far as I’m aware not, I mean clearly we’ve been, we’ve been through this before we have”.
1578
“And again you, you needed some assistance there didn’t you”?
Reply
“I presume this is actually Bri, this, this was Brian HEALY’S number from what you said the other day, er I’m not, I’m not aware of making a call or receiving a call to Brian HEALY but this number and the, the one other number we’ve not been through, is, is, is, is Susan HEALY’S, Kate’s mum, erm I’ve met, as I said before I’ve met both of them in the past, I met them at, I think just the once before the, before Madeleine went missing and that was at Madeleine’s birthday party, I’d had no, no, no contact with them really until they actually came out.  What I think had, has happened is that the first call is to erm Kate’s mum and actually Fiona ringing her on my mobile while we were at Portimăo Police Station, cos I think her battery had err, was, was err, was about to give out”.
00.41.24
1578
“So that would be the first mentioned mobile that we moved on from”?
Reply
“That we went through the other day yeah so the, the two numbers that I can’t recognise are”.
1578
“07967 016678”.
Reply
“Yeah I presume yeah, erm but I can certainly recall whilst we were sitting waiting to go into be interviewed on the, on the evening of, of Friday, Friday the fourth of May”.
1578
“Yes, it was seven forty three pm”.
Reply
“Yeah that Fiona borrowed my, borrowed my mobile for a call, but I haven’t I don’t think I spoke to, to either Sue or Brian until they actually, until people actually came out physically to, to, to Luz in the days after the abduction”.
1578
“Okay.  So we move on to the, to the next phase, which are the erm, the questions drawn up by Gerry and Kate”.
Reply
“Mmm mmm, mmm”.
1578
“And the first one is, for how long have you known Gerald McCANN and Kate HEALY”?
Reply
“Okay, erm I met Gerry briefly for the first time in Atlanta in nineteen ninety nine at the err, err the American Heart Association Conference, he was a presenter there, he was presenting some of his research he’d done in Glasgow, err he already knew a few of the people who I’d, I’d just started to appear at the research, err as part of my training and he already knew a few of the people who worked in Leicester, erm one of whom had actually worked in Glasgow before, so there was a little bit of a connection between the two departments, and erm, (inaudible) turn it off, erm I then didn’t really meet him for probably a couple of years though after, he moved down to Leicester as a, as a sort of, as a Trainee Registrar in Cardiology, erm and although we spoke on the phone, I worked on the Coronary Care Unit at one Hospital in Leicester and he worked at the, the main Cardiology Unit as a (inaudible), at Glenfield Hospital, err if I had a patient who was particularly unwell, who needed the, the facilities at Glenfield, I would ring and you know some days it would be him, so he was, he was a phone, you know a voice at the end of the phone for a long period of time, and then he rotated as part of his training, err down to the Coronary Care at the Royal Infirmary on another ward as well and we ended up working I think for, on the same ward for a, a period of, of about six months and he was down at the Royal for about a year as well and during this time, obviously we worked directly together, erm and he, it was, it was coincidentally I think, around the same time that both Kate found out she was pregnant with Madeleine and Jane found out that she was pregnant with Evie, so that pregnancy was sort of marching on, err at the same time, and I don’t think I’d you know after, after they were born, that’s probably the, the first time that erm, that we started to see them socially, err we mainly knew them through, through Dave and Fi, Fiona had established a relationship with Kate, cos they were both, I think they were both doing Anaesthetics at the time, err and you know, so they were, they were going, they got quite close, we ended up sort of going to, you know round to their house for the night, or a barbecue in the summer or, or a few things and we got to know them there.  We would generally only see them initially there, Dave and Fi they got married in, in August, two thousand and three it’ll be, where Evie was, err Ella was just a few months old, err we all went out to, to have, the wedding was actually in Italy, err and Matt and Rachael, we had, all of us were, were out there on that occasion, so we, we were all there together and since then erm, we’ve been to Madeleine’s birthday, certainly I think err, you know, the, the, her third birthday, I’m try, I’m trying to recall whether we also went to her second, they were probably the only two, err but may only be the one and Kate and Gerry came round with Madeleine to my house one day, when they were both crawling, so I presume around kind of nine month old, err and that’s when my mum, when my mum and dad were down for the weekend as well, they met Madeleine on that occasion, erm but we would generally meet socially after two thousand and three, but to be fair, it was usually through Kate, erm usually through Dave and Fi”.
00.46.06
1578
“Well the next question is, what kind of relationship is there between you and the MCCANN couple”?
Reply
“Yeah, sort of partially explained that there, erm so initially it was a working relationship with Gerry at work, then there was a series of err things, largely meetings at Dave and Fi’s house with the kids, yeah well and the fact that we had the kids the same age, err and it’s become erm you know, a friend, a friendship, although we, we wouldn’t sort of see them or necessarily contact them you know regularly, it was more you know that during, you know during err meetings with, with Dave and Fi at their house”.
1578
“Have you ever visited Gerald and Kate at their home address”?
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“Their children also being present”?
Reply
“Yeah”.
1578
“If yes, how many times”?
Reply
“Yeah it, we certainly went to Madeleine’s birthday, the, the year before, so two thousand and, and six, I’m trying to recall whether we went to one a year before that as well, I don’t think we did, cos I don’t, I don’t actually think they were necessarily in their new house and, and they moved around, you know they moved from, from Queniborough to Rothley a few years back, we didn’t go to their old house, so I think we’ve been, certainly once, possibly twice, prior to this holiday to their house and their children were present, it was Madeleine’s party”.
00.47.27
1578
“Had you already spent holidays with them at any other time, if yes could you describe the way they took care of their children in the evening at night”?
Reply
“(Inaudible) okay, yeah well the answer, the answer is no, we, as I say we were due to go on holiday to Majorca with them in two thousand and six but Jane was heavily pregnant so we pulled out”.
1578
“How often did you meet Gerald and Kate during the holiday time period, between April the twenty eighth and May the third, two thousand and seven”?
Reply
“Erm it varied day to day, we’d certainly see them erm a number of times each day, err generally, we probably didn’t see them at breakfast time, they were, I say they, they played more tennis than sort of down at the water front I don’t think they did an awful lot down on the water front at all, so erm Jane probably saw slightly more of, of, of, of Kate and Gerry because she did a bit more tennis than me.  We, we’d see the children and them often at lunch time on a number of days, we had joint lunches in one or other of the, of the rooms, erm that didn’t necessarily happen every day, high tea we would always see all the children and all the adults together when they were served, they were served their dinner, erm think it was about five or about quarter past five, something like that, err so at least three or four times a day, I mean we, people did do their own thing you know during the week as well and then obviously every, every evening, err we were, you know we, we all kind of congregated together”.
1578
“Yes.  How often do you see their children, Madeleine, Sean and Amelie”?
Reply
“Erm well it would have been on most of the occasions bar the, bar the evening for those, err and sometimes we may have bumped in, you know may have seen Madeleine when I was picking up Ella from you know, from the, you know the, the kids club in the afternoon, or doing the drop off, so I might see them even independently from, from Kate and Gerry if I dropped off a bit later, or picked up a bit later, so, several, several times, you know usually several times a day”.
1578
“Have you ever felt you had reason to become somehow concerned about the children”?
Reply
“Absolutely not, no I mean just full stop you know, I think I even ranted off at this point on Tuesday but you know, there’s, there’s no suggestion that Kate and Gerry are anything other than very loving parents, you know they, they, they adore their kid, absolutely adore their kids, erm you know for, (inaudible) illustrate it, you know we err, in the, in the afternoon, you know they, when you know often we’d go back, after kids club and the high tea, they’d often play in the, the play area round there and, and you know and Gerry would be kind of life and soul of the party with all the kids you know, they’ll be climbing on him and he’d be sort of with, erm but you know, absolutely not, I mean it’s, it’s heartbreaking what’s happened and the way they’ve been portrayed because you know they’re, you know a year ago, we were all just four ordinary families who loved our children and, and Kate and Gerry are exactly that, they’re just loving parents”.
00.50.49
1578
“When was the last time you saw Madeleine”?
Reply
“Erm I certainly think I saw her at lunch time on the Thursday, erm when, when sort of Ella, when Ella and her would have come out the, the, the, the, the kids club, as I said earlier on, on, on Thursday afternoon, we did something slightly different and we were all down at, down at the beach front and were gonna eat there, my gut feeling is because I got there to pick Ella up before all of the children from the kids club were taken up to the, the Tapas that I did see Madeleine there, I have to say eleven months on, I, I can’t tell you that I had a picture of her definitely there, but unless Kate and Gerry picked her up separately, she, she would have been there and somewhere in the back of my mind I, I’ve got this picture of me taking Ella out and all the other children, including Madeleine were there but it’s too long after to, to, to really be honest on that and sort of say yes I definitely saw her, cos I, I don’t know I can now”.


Note: since this3rd part of Russel James O'Brien rogatory interview is too long, it will be published in two parts.

No comments:

Post a Comment