Judge blocks publication of full Shannon Matthews report

KIDNAP VICTIM: Shannon Matthews.
KIDNAP VICTIM: Shannon Matthews.

THE father of kidnapped schoolgirl Shannon Matthews has won a court order to stop a report into what happened to his daughter being fully published.

Leon Rose has obtained an injunction to stop the government releasing a serious case review explaining the full circumstances leading up to the kidnap.

A summary was published in June 2010, just as the government announced that all such reviews would be published in their entirety in future.

The government also said four previous reviews, including Shannon’s, would be published in full.

But Mr Rose, who played no part in his daughter’s abduction, won an injunction at the High Court in April.

It has since been set aside on the understanding that the authorities will not publish the full report until another hearing has been held in October.

Dewsbury Moor schoolgirl Shannon made national headlines when she was reported missing in February 2008, only to be found hidden under a bed in Batley Carr 24 days later. Her mother, Karen, was jailed for plotting the abduction with her ex-boyfriend’s uncle, Michael Donovan, in 2009.

Matthews was released from prison in April after serving half of her eight-year term.

The serious case review summary published in 2010 painted a picture of a chaotic life at the family’s home in Dewsbury Moor.

But it said no one could have predicted that Matthews would stage the kidnap of her own daughter to try to claim reward money.

It said that the four children in Matthews’ care had never met the ‘significant harm’ threshold that would have meant they were taken into care by social services.

If the full report is published, it is expected to give more details about why social services decided not to take Shannon into care.

Dan Wallace from Eaton Smith, the firm representing Mr Rose, said he could not comment on the case due to family court confidentiality rules.

Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board said it would await the outcome of the October High Court hearing with interest, but could not comment further.