The Moorside: A look back at the trial of Karen Matthews in 2008

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Tuesday's episode of BBC drama The Moorside will explore the uncovering of Karen Matthews's plot to kidnap her daughter Shannon.

Back in 2008, it took several months for the charges against Matthews and co-accused Michael Donovan to come to trial.

Shannon was found in Donovan's home in March, and the case was heard at Leeds Crown Court in November.

In the meantime, Matthews's partner and Donovan's nephew, Craig Meehan, was himself charged with possession of child pornography, convicted and given a 20-week jail sentence.

On November 12, the jury heard the prosecution case. Both defendants had entered not guilty pleas.

They were told about Shannon's 24-day ordeal, when she was imprisoned in Donovan's flat and restrained with a strap when he left the house. The nine-year-old was drugged with Temazepam and given a list of rules to follow to keep her concealed, which included not going near windows, keeping the TV volume on low, and not making any noise.

Donovan tricked Shannon into getting into his car by telling her they were going to a fair, and Matthews then reported her missing. The original plan was for Shannon to be released in Dewsbury Market, 'found' by Donovan and a reward claimed.

Jurors were also told that Donovan was discovered hiding alongside a frightened Shannon in the base of a bed by police. His sister gave evidence in which she described her brother as a 'fantasist'. His birth name was actually Paul Drake, and he changed it by deed poll after being inspired by a science-fiction TV show - despite the siblings already having a brother called Michael.

Read the Yorkshire Evening Post's coverage here.

On November 19, Matthews's friends gave evidence as witnesses. Natalie Brown and Julie Bushby, who are both central characters in The Moorside, were questioned by the prosecution and defence counsel.

Brown told them that Karen had confessed she had reported Shannon missing after a plan to leave Craig Meehan for Michael Donovan went wrong.

Matthews made the admission in a car with police officer DC Christine Freeman three weeks after Shannon was found.

Matthews told both Brown and Bushby that Shannon was staying with Donovan while she sorted out her problems with Meehan.

The officer was also asked about an incident in which Shannon's brother had played a prank on his mother during the hunt by claiming he had seen his sister outside - yet Matthews barely reacted.

Read the coverage of Brown and Bushby giving evidence here.

On November 25, Donovan began giving evidence a day after the trial was halted because he had been injured in a prison attack.

During cross-examination, he claimed to be scared of Matthews and that she had approached him in Dewsbury with a 'problem' before asking to meet him in a cafe. She initially asked him for a £20,000 loan before suggesting a plan to claim £50,000 in reward money.

Donovan claimed he collected Shannon from the Moorside estate and decided the weather was too poor to take her to the fair. Shannon apparently knew she would be staying at his flat, but had not been given any extra clothes or toys. He said that Matthews told him to buy her clothes using his own money.

Read more about Donovan's evidence here.

On December 4, the pair were found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. Read our report of the convictions here. Both were later given eight-year prison sentences.