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Statements of Jeremy Wilkins

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Statements of Jeremy Wilkins Empty Statements of Jeremy Wilkins

Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:02

Volume II Pages 494 to 505

May, 7th 2007
Jeremy Wilkins deposition

I am the above named person and at an address known by the Police. This statement describes my holiday at the Algarve and the conversation with Jerry, the father of Madeleine on the evening of her disappearance.

On Saturday , 28th April, 2007, we arrived at the Ocean Club resort, Garden Apartments, Praia da Luz, Algarve. I was with my wife Bridget O’Donnell, my daughter Orly, who is three (3) and Arlo, my son who is eight (8) months. We were placed into the apartment within block G4, apartment JMO on letter O. There are about 15 to 20 apartments within each block. The McCann family was within the next block. On Monday 30th, April, 2007 I joined the tennis lessons provided by Mark Warner, the tour operator. There were five pairs. There were 3 females and a male, I found to be Jerry.

He was white of pale complexion, about 5’10’’ to 6’ 00’’ with a soft Glasgwian accent. He has dark hair which was short. He was of athletic build.

As part of the lesson we were paired off together. We engaged on general conversation, mainly about tennis, and football. I got the impression that he was good company, gregarious and chatty. The tennis lessons longed about an hour. We were signed for four (4) lessons in total. I can’t recall if I saw Jerry again that day.

On Tuesday, 1st May, 2007 we again had a tennis lesson together. After the lessons, this time we had a game of doubles together with two friends of his! At this point I established that Jerry and his family had come along with a group of other families, four (4) in totals. The game longed about one hour and a quarter.

After the game we walked together with a third male called Russell or Matt, to pick the children up from the Mini-Club. This is a Creche provided by the holiday company.

We would take them there at 9 am (?!) every day, until 12:30pm. I realized that Jerry had three (3) children). A girl called Madeleine and 2 twins who were about two years of age. Madeleine was about three (3). This club would take threes (3) to five (5) years old. The Club was split into two (2) groups: the Sharks and the Lobsters. My son was in the Sharks group. I believe that Madeleine was in the Lobsters. I don’t believe that I saw the family again that day.

On Wednesday, 2nd May, I could see it was raining and the tennis lesson was postponed. It was re-scheduled for 2:30 pm. I found this out at a later date and missed the lesson. I arrived about five (5) minutes before the end and realized this fact. I saw the usual people at the tennis lesson. I then went back to my apartment.

That evening myself and my partner attended the “Tapas” restaurant which is part of the hotel complex at the swimming pool. We sat down to eat at 7:30 pm. After about forty five (45) minutes Jerry appeared as did one of his friends. I believe it was Russell. They sat at the next table. We naturally engaged in conversation about everyday things. We spoke about childcare. That night my family were using the creche’s facility. We found out that the group of families were occupying ground floor flats near the swimming pool and they were leaving the children by themselves in order for them to go to the restaurant in the evenings. They would then go regularly to check the children who would be asleep.

I found out that Jerry was a cardiologist in a Hospital. At this time his wife was putting the children to bed. We received a call from the crèche informing that our son was awake. My partner left first and I followed shortly afterwards. The amount of time I spent with Jerry was about fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes we remained in the restaurant. By the time we left, Jerry was with about seven other people. I picked up my daughter from the crèche and then returned to the apartment.

On Thursday, 3rd May 2007, at 10 am I went to tennis lesson as usual and Jerry was there and a female. The other two females were not present. We again engaged in general conversation and played (?!) the lesson for an hour.

I went to the pool where Bridget was. I think Jerry’s wife, Kate was already there speaking to the tennis coach. They got really involved in a conversation XXX Jerry would say a joke (?!!!!, unreadible) and go ...

At 12:30 pm we went fetch the little boy from the crèche as usual. Everyone left the pool at about the same time. I didn’t see Jerry or Kate.

We returned to our apartment. We decided to spend the evening in, watching television. Our son was awake and unable to sleep. I decided to take him for a walk in his pram. I left about 8:15 to 8:30 pm. I was pushing the pram around the complex and went to the toilet near the bar. I could not see inside the restaurant. As I got the baby to sleep, I was on my way back to the apartment. I came out at the top road.

I met him near the stairs of a ground floor. There was a gate leading up to some stairs. I was pretty certain that he had left the apartment. We spoke for a few minutes. He said you’re on walking duty. I said I was staying in and pros and cons and what to do with the children.

He said that as he was staying two weeks XXXXX he was staying one night… (unreadable)
I don’t remember anyone else walking around with a child. The conversation lasted for about three (3) to five (5) minutes.

He was acting completely normal from what I know of him so far. I then walked back to the apartment. I had dinner, watched a DVD and went to bed at about 11 pm.

The doorbell woke us up at about 1 am. It was the resort manager who I learnt to be John and one of Jerry’s friends. I think his name was Matt. He is white, slim, and tall with graying hair. From previous conversations I learnt him to be a diabetics specialist. We met him o the way to the destination. Matt said XXXXX to the effect that Jerry’s daughter had been abducted, and that Jerry said that he had met me and wanted to know if I had seen anything. I said “You’re joking”. I offered help but they said there was nothing that could be done at that stage. We remained at the apartment but could see people around the pool and at the front with torches. I also saw the police arriving. We then went to bed.

The following day there was a somber atmosphere around the complex.I last saw Jerry and Kate on Saturday, 5th May 2007 about 4 pm or 5 pm.We were sitting by the pool. I walked over to Jerry and wanted to let him know that I was thinking about him. I shook his hand. He was quiet but wasn’t crying. I thought it was brave of him and his wife to go t the pool. I said hello to Kate, I didn’t know what to say in that situation. She looked really upset. That was the last time I physically saw Jerry and Kate. Myself and my family left the complex at 7:30 pm and flew back to Gatwick that evening, arriving at 5 pm (NOTE: this doesn’t make sense, it’s conflicting).

I have drawn a map of the complex and marked an X where I saw Jerry on Thursday evening – JW 1. I have also produced a map, from the holiday brochure also with an X where I saw Jerry on Thursday – JW 2.»
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CARTAS ROGATORIAS 5
Pages 25 to 29

LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE SQUAD
WITNESS TESTIMONY OF JEREMY WILKINS
Occupation:

This statement, consisting of five pages, each signed by me, is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have willfully states in it anything I know to be false or do not believe to be true.

Date: 8 April 2008
Signature:
I am the above referenced person and live at the address previously given to this police. I gave an earlier statement to the Metropolitan Police relative to my holidays in Portugal in May of 2007. I stayed at the Praia da Luz resort from where Madeleine McCann disappeared. We arrived on Saturday, April 28, 2007.
Yesterday, I received a visit from Leciestershire police officers with the intent of clarifying some aspects and to obtain any possible additional information. The conversation was recorded as was the interview which was conducted by the same agents. I was told that these questions originated from the rogatory letter sent by the Portuguese authorities. I am aware that my deposition is subject to the Portuguese Criminal Code in addition to British law.
I was asked to read my original statement to refresh my memory for which I was given authorization.
What follows are answers to the questions posed to me in the following order:

Q. Relative to the time I met Gerry McCann on the Thursday night of May 3, 2007;
As stated in my original deposition, I believe that I left the apartment around 20h30. I calculate that I met Gerry on the road between 20h45 and 21h15. I am aware of the importance of this hour and am also aware that the media announced our meeting time as 21h05. Even if this were correct, I have no idea from where such information originated. It is not possible to give you a more exact time.

Q. From which direction Gerry travelling when you met?
From previous conversations had with Gerry, I am of the notion of the usual routine of the group in relation to checking on their children when they were in the Tapas Bar. I also was aware of the location of the McCann apartment. Naturally when I met him that night, I assumed that he had gone to check on the children. I cannot affirm if I saw him exactly leaving the apartment through the passageway, and if he was heading towards the tapas Bar.

Q. Relative to the exact location you met Gerry?
I left my apartment pushing my son’s pram so that he could sleep. I did not have a particular direction to follow nor did I have a specific time to do this. I left the apartment and turned right. I walked via the lower street, looked to the building block where the McCann apartment was situated and saw a woman dressed in purple clothing. I referred to this woman in relation to the questions asked by Jane Tanner. At the next crossing, I turned right and continued on down the hill. At this point, I saw a man that was coming from the road and was headed to the reception. I believe that he was with a woman but I cannot be precise of any detail about her. It was a tall Caucasian man, with blonde hair in ‘rasta style’ tied with a band instead of free flowing. When I arrived, I headed to the WC near the pool area. He also was in the WC but appeared to be a taking a long time. I do not remember if he was still in that place when I left. I did not see a woman in that zone. I had never before seen this man and did not see him after this. The next morning, after having become aware of Madeleine’s disappearance, we went to breakfast and left the children in the club. Bridget and I returned to the apartment and minutes afterward, a uniformed police officer, accompanied by a British man serving as interpreter, showed up. Later we came to know him as Robert Murat. I do not remember if he gave me his details but recently when I was cleaning a bag, I came across a card with his name and telephone number. I believe that he may have given this to me so that we could contact him in case we had any additional information to offer. The police officer asked us if we had noticed anything out of the normal and Robert Murat translated. I spoke to him of the “rasta man” and the police officer took some notes on paper. He also noted our names and passport numbers. During the days that followed, as we passed through the police cordon, we noticed Robert Murat on numerous occasions. On Friday, the 4th of May or Saturday, 5th of May 2007, at one of the police cordons, I again saw Robert Murat. He told me that they had investigated the lead of the “rasta man” but that he was a local man and that everything was okay. He thanked me for my collaboration. I never saw Robert prior to his visit to our apartment with the police officer.
After leaving the WC, I continued to walk around the back of the tennis court, and returned via the pathway opposite the pool in the Tapas complex. Whilst walking the streets, I was hoping my son would fall asleep. Some of the walkways did not have an exit and for this reason I walked practically in circles. When walking one of these paths, I came across a tourist called Curtis with his girlfriend whose name I do not know. He also knew Gerry from the tennis lessons. I remember passing by them but I assumed they were headed to dinner. Eventually, I left one road to the other side of the street to the pool complex, between the McCann apartment and the Tapas Bar. In order to visualise this street, I believe it was the street most used by the news agencies and journalists as all the parked cars indicated during the coverage period.
When I left the street, I remember seeing Gerry on the other side of the same. I believe that there was some speculation in the press regarding the circumstances of this encounter. I remember that I crossed the street to talk to Gerry. According to what I remember, Gerry was walking when I spotted him. As I mentioned previously, I assumed that he had gone to check on the children and was headed back to the Tapas Bar.
From what I remember, the conversation happened right there on the pathway but I am not certain who was located exactly where.

Q. Relative to the time we conversed;
I am more certain of this than I am of our relative positions.
The conversation lasted for approximately three to five minutes. We spoke of the care of children and how they were getting along. He told me something like “he was on night duty”. I explained to him that I was returning to the apartment as my son was now sleeping. I assumed that Gerry was off to dine with the group in the Tapas bar, but I cannot precisely say this came from him or if I figured this out from our previous conversations regarding the checking system for the children. I remember that Gerry told me if he had stayed another week, he would likely do as I was doing and would stay with the children one night. It appeared as though he was jealous of what I was doing, but given that he was with a big group, he felt the obligation to meet with them every night, and the chosen location was the Tapas bar. I believe that there was some sort of agreement with the tapas Bar as they appeared to have a reservation every night and it was impossible for other guests to book at spot there.
I do not know if we were face to face or side to side when this conversation occurred. As I had the pram with me I was rocking it so my son could sleep, it seems to me that I was in the downward direction, but it is possible that I was in the opposite direction.
I do not remember having seen anyone else at this time besides Gerry. After leaving each other, Gerry walked downward in the direction of the Tapas Bar and I began to walk in the other direction, up the pathway. I turned left at the crossing and passed the apartment. I did not meet anyone else during my walk and once in my apartment, I did not venture out again.

Q. Relative to whether I know Jane Tanner;
Now I know her name, description of the clothes and photos which I have seen in the press. At that time I knew of her as a member of the group but did not know her name. I do not remember having seen her when I spoke with Gerry, but I believe I saw her when I first ventured out. She was stopped on the street in front of one of the group’s apartments when I passed her down towards the exit to my apartment. I do not know if it was her apartment or not. I remember that she was wearing the colour purple.
Q. Relative to the passerby/transient:
I can affirm that it was a quiet street and it was very unlikely that someone could have passed by be in this way but this as an assumption and I do not remember anything having happened.

Q. Relative to anything strange in Gerry’s behavior;
I can affirm without any reservation that Gerry’s behavior was absolutely normal. He was not preoccupied and conversed and appeared relaxed. He behaved if the same form as with the other times we met.

Q. Relative to the visibility and lighting conditions;
I believe that the time I left it was dusk (the term lusco-fusco used in this statement is a Portuguese expression to define those brief moments when day and night intermingle in an undefined state, dusk, when day isn’t still night) or nighttime when I returned and I do not remember if it was already dark when I spoke with Gerry. There were no weather conditions that impacted visibility. Given the lighting and the atmospheric conditions, I believe that it would have been possible to see if an individual was near but evidently, the greater the distance, the harder the difficulty in seeing. I would say that when I spoke with Gerry it was possible to recognize someone I knew who was passing on foot at the crossing at the top of the hill or to describe approximately someone unknown from that distance.

Q. relative to the return to Portugal to realize a reconstitution;
I spoke with the police for a long time regarding this topic. I had some reservation about the press’ intrusion onto my personal life and the hurt that resulted. I actually think that I would prefer not to take part. I have helped the investigation and am particularly interested in the investigative team gave me a solid base with would justify the reconstitution.
I was also asked question raised by the arguidos, to which I responded as follows.
Relative to my familiarity with Gerry and Kate;
I got to know them on Monday, 30th of April 2007 when I arrived at the tennis lesson. I had booked lessons and believed that Gerry had done the same. I believe that Kate was with Gerry before the first lesson but did not play.

Relative to the encounters between the 29th of April and the 3rd of May;
I played against Gerry in the tennis lessons and we played a game outside the lessons together with two friends who made up part of his group. Kate was in the immediate area of the resort but the reason for our meetings was normally tennis. We got along well together.

Relative to seeing them with Madeleine and the other children;
I do not have grand memories of Madeleine but did see her on some occasions with her parents in the crèche. My last memory of the twins, specifically, was in the company of adults (I think they were friends that travelled here) in the pool zone and also on the day that we left, Saturday 5th of May, 2007.
I never saw any member of the family inside or possessing a vehicle.

Relative to the encounter with Gerry and Kate on the 3rd of May 2007;
I had a tennis lesson with Gerry from 10h00 to 11h00. After the lesson we went to fetch the children from the crèche. I saw Gerry and Kate near the pool relaxing. I remember that they were talking to a British tennis instructor whose name is George or Georgina. I remember that she was telling them a bit about her personal life. Later that day, I went once again to collect the children from the crèche and believe I saw them there, but I cannot affirm with exactitude if it was that day or if had been on a previous day. We did not see each other again on this day.

Relative to when I became aware of Madeleine’s disappearance;
After having gone to sleep on the 3rd of May, we were woken around 01H30 by the manager of the resort, John Hill and by a friend of Gerry’s. It was them who told me what had happened. I did not see or hear anything else than what has been stated in this statement. I did not take part in any searches. I offered my help but it was not necessary. I did not see Gerry and Kate again until the afternoon of our departure. They were in the tourist complex. This was on Saturday, 5th of May 2007. If was a very emotional encounter and I did not know what to say to them. I went over to Gerry and gave him a pat on the shoulder and spoke briefly with Kate. Together they appeared constrained and I became emotional as well.

Relative to the meeting with Gerry McCann;
I have already testified to the time of our encounter in this statement and have also spoken to the location where we met, when I saw him for the first time, what I observed regarding the details of our conversation. The same applies to Jane Tanner.

Relative to the sighting in Dr. Francisco Gentil street;
From the location where we met for our conversation, it is possible to see the top of the hill. I cannot confirm if I was always turned in this direction. It is definitely possible that someone could have crossed holding a child without my noticing.

I do not remember any other information or relevant details which could help this investigation.
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During the evening of Wednesday 31 October 2007, Jeremy and Bridget were visited at heir home address by DC 1756 and DC 4356 from the Leicestershire OP Task team:

Volume XIII p. 3407 - 3409.

LEICESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY
OFFICER’S REPORT

Date: 05/11/07

(…)

During the evening of Wednesday 31 October 2007, Jeremy and Bridget were visited at their home address by DC 1756 and DC 4356 from the Leicestershire Op Task team. This visit was organized to attempt to gain background information in relation to the McCann’s and members of their group whilst on holiday in the Prai Da Luz resort.

Contact was made as result of their previous interaction with the OP Task Team and their willigness to discuss their relationship with the group.

Both Jeremy and Bridget work within the television production industry producing documentary programmes. Bridget previously worked alongside the Police on the Crime Watch television programme and was aware of the importance for the need of collating background information.

Jeremy and Bridget have been married for several years and have two children, XXXX (F) 3 yrs and XXXX (M) 8 months. It may be of interest to note that these names are Hebrew names and spellings have been checked.
They chose that specific period to go to the Praia Da Luz resort because of the childcare facilities and the fact that it was the cheapest week of the season.

They flew to the resort on Saturday 28 april 2007. Whilst on the plane they came into conversation with Russell O’Brien and Mathew Oldfield due to their children being of the same age range and the fact that they were playing together on the plane.
They were also aware of the presence of their partners, Jane Tanner and Rachel Mamphilly.

Upon arrival in the resort they were allocated apartment O in block G4. This block being situated near the tennis courts and adjacent to the block in which the McCann’s apartment was situated. It is on the junction of Rua 1 De Maio and Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, with Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins running parallel.

Jeremy first met Gerry at a tennis coaching session held by staff associated with the Mark Warner resort on the first Monday of their holiday (30/05/07).
He found Gerry to be amicable and willing to chat. He paired with Gerry for part of the lesson and described him as “Good company if not a little gregarious”.

He did not meet up with Gerry or any of the group again until Tues 1 May 07.
This was again during a tennis session and it was at this time he met some of the group and realized that the people he met on the Plane were indeed part of the group.

Jeremy explained that he used the crèche facility provided by the resort. This was a child care facility which allowed parents to leave their children, aged between 3 – 5 yrs old, with trained staff at various times of the day. He recalled walking to the crèche with Gerry who had left Madeleine with the staff. This was about 1230 hrs on Tues 1 May. He then went on to explain that the children could be left with the staff during the evening and that most would be picked up before 10pm. It was not an unusual sight to see people walking through the site at night with a child in their arms asleep. The crèche would also provide a blanket to cover the child if required. He had taken up this facility hence his knowledge of the procedure.

Jeremy and Bridget had visited the Tapas bar on several occasions during which they noticed the group had reserved a table for every night of their holiday. This appeared to be contrary to the set down procedure of not booking a table any further than three days ahead. The group appeared boisterous but good natured with Gerry being the central figure. His gregarious character making him appear to be the central figure in the group and almost holding court. However they did notice that David Payne was equally gregarious and almost playing along with, if not up to, Gerry.

Jeremy and Bridget became aware that although the McCanns had taken up the use of the crèche facility during the day, they had not done so for the evening hours and had left the children in the apartment but were checking on them regularly and that other members of the group appeared to be doing the same.
They expressed surprise over this as the McCanns apartment was set in a location that appeared vulnerable. They were aware that the apartment was a corner building and with easy access from the road. The apartments were not very secure and entry could easily be gained.

They went on to explain the events of the 3 May 2007.

He went to play tennis at 1030hrs and noticed Gerry was there. He engaged in general conversation with him as well as a female member of Gerry’s group, but he could not name her. After which they all went to the pool. Both Gerry and Kate were present this time and spent the majority of the time talking with the tennis coach. The coach appeared to be talking about her life in general and both Jeremy and Bridget noticed that Gerry and Kate were listening intently to her. Jeremy thought this to be courteous of them considering they did not know her.

At 1230hrs both Jeremy and Bridget went to pick up their children from the crèche. They did not have any interaction with the group again that afternoon. They decided to spend the evening in the apartment. Their son was unable to sleep so about 2015hrs, Jeremy took him, in the pushchair for a walk. He walked around the main area of the resort and eventually ended up in the Tapas bar where he used the toilet facility. He was unable to state what time this was. His son was still awake so he walked in the area of the ocean club gardens and walked along the alleyways in that general area. He eventually made his way along Rua Dr Francisco toward the direction of Rua Dr Agostinho. At this time he was walking on the right side of the road passing the Tapas bar area to his left. He noticed the bad street lighting and although it was not completely dark there was enough light to see clearly. As he approached the corner of the McCanns apartment, he saw Gerry appear from the area of the gate. He crossed the road and engaged in general conversation with Gerry. At this time they were stood with Gerry’s back to the building near to the gate and Jeremy facing him. Rua Dr Agostino was about 10 – 15 meters to his right and the pathway leading to the front of the apartment blocks about 5 meters to his left.
He was adamant that he did not see any one else in the area. When spoken to in reference to Jane Tanner walking by, he again stated that he saw no one. He also stated that he did not see or hear anyone to his right. He was aware of the recent picture in the papers re the person with a child wrapped in a blanket and in a males arms alledgedly walking across the junction to his right but again stated that he did not see any one.
The conversation with Gerry lasted for about three minutes during which Gerry was chatty and in his normal self. Jeremy then made his way back to his apartment.

They went to bed about 2300hrs but were waken about 0100hrs by a knock at the door. On answering the door they spoke with the resort manager and a person they knew was a member of the group but they only knew him as Matthew. It was then they found out that Madeleine was missing.

They had no further contact with the family apart from seeing them in passing whilst at the resort.

Several weeks later, Jeremy received calls from Gerry in relation to gaining permission from him to use his name in a portfolio of evidence being compiled by an organization employed by the McCanns. They were very persistent and made several attempts to contact him both at work and at home. They had no objection to being included but were concerned as to the method being used.
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