The man accused of kidnapping schoolgirl Shannon Matthews was described in court today as “a bit creepy” by his own niece.
Caroline Meehan was giving evidence in the trial of Michael Donovan, 40, and Karen Matthews, 33, at Leeds Crown Court.
Both are charged with kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Shannon as well as perverting the course of justice.
The charges relate to the 24-day disappearance of Shannon in February and March this year when the little girl was nine.
Ms Meehan was asked by Frances Oldham, QC, for Matthews, if she agreed with the description that her uncle was “a loner, a strange character, a bit creepy and a fantasist?”
“Yes”, she replied.
She told the court she saw little of her uncle in the 24 days when Shannon was missing.
The jury has been told Shannon was drugged and restrained with a strap tied to a roof beam after her mother hatched a plan to make £50,000 (€58,000) from her faked kidnap.
The court heard Shannon was kept locked in a flat for 24 days by Donovan, who police believe used an elasticated strap with a noose on the end to tether her when he went out.
Prosecutors at Leeds Crown Court said Donovan drugged the nine-year-old with Temazepam and travel sickness tablets and gave her a list of “rules”.
All the time Shannon’s mother, Matthews, kept up a “wicked and dishonest lie” - knowing all the time where her daughter was as police conducted a massive search operation which eventually cost almost £3.2m (€3.7m), the jury was told
The case was adjourned until Monday.