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Gail Cooper Sighting. Statements & Correspondence

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Gail Cooper Sighting. Statements & Correspondence Empty Gail Cooper Sighting. Statements & Correspondence

Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:14

Processos Vol XV


Page 3966

Fax

Date: 16th January 2008


From: Stuart Prior

To: Ricardo Paiva

Subject: Forward sketch


Annexes: BK – MM presentat (sic) Jan 08, Gail Cooper (2) doc, Paul Gordon (3) doc, Trudy dawkin (2) doc, tanner description 2 doc, Summary of second statement Tanner doc.

Ricardo,


Please get back to me as soon as possible with your instructions.

The power point attached was completed by the McCanns but the statements were all taken by UK police.

The Jane Tanner description was taken from the press and also from the summary of her statement.

Does Paolo want the sketches showing to Paul Gordon or do we want to get a new sketch prepared by Paul. There is some urgency around this as we need to decide prior to the Gail Cooper artist impression appearing in the UK press.

Does he want Gail re-interviewing re the new information.

Do you want the husband and son (although this may be difficult due to the son’s medical condition) of Gail Cooper interviewing.

Do you want the other witness, the friend of Alfred Schuurman’s tracking down if they are in the UK.

How are you going to deal with possible press issues.

What are you planning around Mr Kennedy or the private investigation firm.

We do not have Alfred Schuurman or Gail’s husband or son in our system.

Gail Porter’s statement was sent to Portugal on 23rd May and Paul Gordon’s was sent to Portugal prior to 14th May.

I will need to get back to the McCanns as he asked to be updated, how would Paolo want this conducting and what information am to provide them They are very excited about this potential lead.

Give me a call back.

Thanks

Stu
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Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:14

Processos Vol XV

Pages 3982 - 3983

Name: Gail Cooper

Occupation: Community Care Manager

Date: 21/05/2007

I am the abovenamed person and I live at the address shown overleaf. Due to celebrating my 50th birthday, myself and my John as well as a number of my children of which the youngest is 20 years of age and two grandchildren aged 9 and 11 years all flew out to Portugal on 18th April 2007 with a return date of Wednesday 25th April 2007.


We were stopping at a villa in Portugal which was booked through The Vila Agency. The villa we stopped at was at Beladea, Monte Lemos, Lote 14, Luz, Algarve.


We all flew from East Midlands airport on Wednesday 18th April 2007 and landed at Faro airport at about 9 AM of the same day. We them travelled to the villa and got there about 11 AM. We all settled into out holiday and were joined by further members of our family in later days who were stopping in neighbouring complexes.

On Friday 20th April at about 4 – 5 PM I was sat on the terrace area of our bedroom villa watching the grandchildren playing in the pool. I was sitting with my daughter, D*** whilst other members of the family were having an afternoon kip and my husband and D****’s husband went out.

The villa we stopped at is described as a 5 bedroom 3 storey villa which is built on a hill and overlooking the village which would have been about 500 metres away and estimated to take about 10 minutes to walk to the village. The first and second floors of the villa comprised of balconies which almost spanned the length of the building allowing you to look into the garden area. To the front of the villa upon walking out of the front door was a six foot wall that went all the way around the villa. There were two main entrances to the villa via an electrically operated gate situated to the left of the villa and a smaller gate which ran directly in line with the front door to the villa and was only secured by a normal latch. To the rear of the building was a swimming pool which was 8 metres by 4 metres and was situated slightly to the right of the building.

As I sat with D**** watching the children, I heard the door bell sounding and thinking that it was my husband and son in law returning, I went to the front door and opened it. There is a camera on the Intercom system which I believe activated itself automatically upon the bell being activated however I do not know of any recording facilities that may have captured the image of the person I am about to describe. I opened the door and was surprised to see a person described as olive skinned male roughly 40 – 45 years of age, 6.0” to 6.02” tall and of slim to medium build. He appeared to be mediterranean however due to his appearance and mannerism I did not feel that he was Portuguese. I also noticed that he had a Mexican looking moustache which was dark brown or black in colour and was very thick and bushy and drooped down the sides of his mouth. His chin was clean shaven. He wore a khaki coloured waist length heavy cotton jacket and a green or blue round neck T shirt. He also had khaki coloured combat type trousers with pockets on the side of the trousers but they were plain trousers with no other patterns o markings on them . I did not notice his footwear. This man also had a black leather type bumbag around his waist with one zip across the top. He smelt funny as though he had been cooking as he smelt of onions or garlic which appeared to be on his clothing and very strong. In his left hand he was holding an A4 size leaflet with foreign writing on it and a small yellow receipt like book roughly 4” by 3”.


As I made eye contact with the male I said “Ola” (hello) to which I expected a greeting back or a handshake which is common practice with the Portuguese people from what I have seen from visiting the country over the past 9 years on 2-3 occasions per year. There was no greeting by this male who said, speaking in English that had an accent to it that once again did not sound Portuguese “I am collecting for a local orphanage in a nearby village, Espiche”, I was quite surprised at his presence which I thought intimidating and did not say anything. He then said “Do you know of it” to which I replied “No”. As he was speaking he was waiving (sic) the A4 leaflet held in his hand and quickly flash a photo ID card that appeared to be laminated. I could not clearly see what was on the card or the leaflet due to the way he was waving them about. He told me that the Portuguese government allow them to collect money once a year and that he could give me a receipt for any money that I give him. He then went on to tell me about an English family that had been killed on the EN125 motor way 3 days prior and that three children from that family had been looked after by the orphanage.

I told him that I did not have any Euros in the villa and that my husband was out so he would have to come back. He asked me for Stirling (sic) and once again I told him that I did not have any money at the villa. This person was very pushy and seemed intimidating but he was not threatening however he did make me feel very uncomfortable and did not appear to be Portuguese and his English was very good.

In total the man was stood roughly 3 feet away from me for a duration of 10-15 minutes, as he tried to persuade me to part with some money. The sun was shining and there was a light shower, however I had a clear unobstructed view of this male who I did not know and had not seen before or after this incident. I do think I would easily recognise him if seen again. I saw the male walk away due to realising that I was not going to give him any money and turned left from our property. I later spoke to members of my family about the incident and my 28 year old son told me that he saw the male from the first floor balcony and he noticed that the male walked past the next property without attempting to make a collection. My son has medical problems and is not suitable for making a statement. I did not notice any vehicles connected with this male and do not know whether this may be of any relevance as whilst on holiday we were not aware of any children being abducted. Our first knowledge of this incident was when we returned to the UK which would be about a week after our return 25/04/07. Since hearing about the abduction I have checked our holiday photographs, however, could not see this person on them and cannot identify anything that would be of value.
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Vol XV

Pages 3998 - 4002

Leicestershire Constabulary

Witness Statement

Gail Ann Cooper

Date: 16th January 2008

I am the abovenamed person and I live at the address as stated on page 00 of this statement.

On 21st May 2007 I made a statement to the police regarding an incident whilst I was on holiday in Praia da Luz in Portugal. I reported that a male had come to the villa collecting money for an orphanage I made the statement following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, as I believed he was suspicious and I felt the information could be useful to the enquiry. Since making the statement I never gave it very much more thought until my daughter Ph***** (crossed out in statement) my mother P***** pointed out to me an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper which said something about a man had been approached by a male collecting money for an orphanage. The story related to Madeleine McCann. This then made me think about the man who had visited me at the villa. The article dated in the newspaper was Monday 7th January 2008. My daughter Ph contacted the Daily Mirror newspaper as there was a telephone number asking for people to contact them with any information.

Later on in the day Monday 7th January, I received a telephone call from a man at the Daily Mirror wishing to come and see me. However we decided to discuss the information over the phone. I told him about the man who had gone to the villa and gave him the description as I stated in my original statement. On Tuesday 8th January 2008 the information I passed to him over the phone was printed in the Daily Mirror.

My daughter P*** also saw it and mentioned some further information which I had originally forgotten and it related to further potential sightings of the same man on the beach at P da l which I describe as follows:

On Sunday 22nd April whilst I was on holiday as described in my previous statement, I was with my family at the Bar Habana on the promenade area of P da L. The bar faces out towards the sea and is surrounded by other cafés and bars.

I was with my husband, my son , my daughter, my eldest daughter, her husband, my mother and my two grandchildren. As we were sitting there, my attention was drawn to the sound of children descending onto the promenade area. They all came onto the beach along the wooden boardwalk and there were approximately between six and twelve of them. They ranged from about 5 to 8 years of age. I was also aware that there were adults with them and realised that they were from the Mark Warner holiday complex as the adults had got white shorts and red T shirts on. I believe they had the name Mark Warner on the front of the shirts. All the children went towards a play area where there were some swings. The time was between 11 and 12 midday.


As I watched the children I saw a male walking behind them. He was approximately 10 – 15 yards away from where I was sitting. He didn’t really do anything, he was just walking behind them and I initially thought he was with the group, but as they got to the beach he turned right towards where I was along the promenade area. He did not stay with the children at all. As he walked in front of me, I was immediately drawn to the fact that he looked exactly like the man who had been to my villa on Friday 20th April 2007. He had exactly the same hair style, dark collar length which was quite untidy looking. He had the same moustache and looked the same age. The only different thing about him was that he had a navy blue T shirt on, round neck style with short sleeves. It was all plain with no logos or anything. His trousers were quite a neutral colour.

He was not carrying anything, he was the same height, between 5.7” and 5.10” and slim medium build. He appeared to be by himself, there was no one else near to him.

He was only in my view for a matter of seconds, but I had a clear unobstructed view of him and the weather was bright and sunny. I saw about three quarters of his face as he walked by, he did not face me full on, but I saw more of his face than just looking at his side profile.

I even commented to my daughter P**** that it was the same man who I had spoken to at the villa.

The man walked away and I did not see him again.
Since all that has happened around Madeleine McCann, I have thought about other things that may have been suspicious. I can recall that on Friday 20th April about 1 or 2 o’clock I was sitting on the beach front again at P da L. This was just before the man came to the villa later on that day. I was sitting at the bar Paraiso. It faces out onto the sea and is near to the bar Habana I mentioned earlier. I was with my friends Trudy and L** Dawkins, my husband, Trudy’s daughter and son. It was raining on this particular day and I recall seeing a man walking alone on the beach. I thought it strange because of the weather. He was only in my sight for a few seconds, and was some distance away. I could not fully see his face but as I have sat and thought about the suspicious man, I feel sure that this is the same man I saw at the villa and again on the beach on Sunday.

He was the same height, age, had the same hairstyle and the only other thing different is that he had a khaki green or stone coloured coat on.

I did not report this information to the police at the time. I made my first statement as I just did not see the full relevance of it until I saw the article in the Daily Mirror in January. It had not even crossed my mind until I started going over what I had done and seen during my stay in Portugal.

Signed
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Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:15

Processos Vol XV

Page 4003

Fax

Date: 18th January 2008

From: Stuart Prior

To: Ricardo Paiva



Subject: BC4 Memo, Gail Cooper doc. Gail Cooper statement, Iris Morgan doc, report Morgan doc, Rex Morgan doc.


Ricardo,


All the docs attached in this and the next two emails as discussed earlier today.

We are still working on one or two aspects and I will get back to you over this and for any further direction from yourselves over facial recognition.

As we have discussed I have given Gerry a brief update just saying that the other descriptions are different to the artists impressions completed by Gail and identified by Jane. That the witnesses appeared genuine which indicates a number of charity collectors in the area prior to Madeleine being taken. I informed him everything has been forwarded to yourselves.

We have not spoken with Jane at all and will not share our e fits with anybody except yourselves unless you request this from us. It appears there were at least three charity collectors if not more in the area in the weeks prior to Madeleine being taken.

I am told that the artist impression by Gail Cooper is likely to hit the media over the weekend and I will update you on the effects of this next week, although we are not involved in this in any way at all.

Hope all is well.

Spk soon.


Stu
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Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:15

Processos Vol XV

Pages 4003 – 4004

Fax

Date 18th January 2008

From: Graham Michael

To: Stuart Prior


Dear Ricardo

Please see the attached information for your attention and consideration

Rex Morgan
He is the father of Linda Simms who contacted us to report males in P da luz who had been collecting money for a local charity. A statement has been obtained from him along with a statement from his wife, Iris Morgan.

Iris Morgan has also completed an e fit image and she was also shown the sketch completed by Gail Cooper. She does not recognise this individual. The e fit does not match the sketch.

Denise Ashton
She has been shown the sketches completed by Gail Cooper and she does not recognise this person as the individual. A statement will be forwarded to you on Monday 21st January.


Charlotte Pennington
I have spoken with Charlotte Pennington this morning and she has no additional information to give. She confirms that she was statemented by the PJ very shortly after Madeleine went missing and she recalls making further contact when the e fit regarding the alleged sighting in Belgium was in the media. She has been spoken to by a private investigator (Neil Hogan) working on behalf of Método 3. Charlotte assured me that she has only relayed to him the same information that she has already given to the PJ and to me (per email dated 7th August 2007).

Regards,

Mick
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Post  Info Sun 28 Feb - 14:16

Processos Vol XV

Page 4005

Leicestershire Constabulary

From: DC Burrows

To: DI Graham Op Task

Date: 17-01-2008

Subject: Gail Cooper


I report with reference to the above.

On Wednesday 16th January 2008 I spoke to the above person in relation to a sighting of a suspicious male on P da L beach on 20th April 2007 and the again on 22nd April 2007.

Gail had previously made a statement to the police regarding a male attending her villa on Friday 20th April 2007 where he was asking for money for an orphanage.
She maintains the information is correct in that statement.

She went on to say that since making that statement she had not given the circumstances much thought and believed that the information she had given the police had been dealt with accordingly and that the male did not feature in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. She believed that he was some sort of con man.

It was not until the 7th January 2008 when her attention was drawn to an article in the Daily Mirror where a report stated that a man had reported a similar incident regarding a male asking for money for an orphanage. The newspaper featured a telephone number asking people with any information to contact them.

Gail stated it was her daughter P***** who contacted the Daily Mirror and gave them Gail’s mobile number. The newspaper then contacted her rather than Gail phoning them herself.

She stated she told them about the incident where a man had come to her villa collecting money for the orphanage on Friday 20th April. (As per her original statement).

I asked Gail why she did not mention the other two potential sightings of the male on Friday 20th April and Sunday 21st (sic) April to either the police when she made her first statement and also when she first spoke to the Daily Mirror.

She said it never crossed her mind and she never gave it a thought on either occasion. It wasn’t until her daughter prompted her about it that she remembered the male on the beach believing it was the same man who had attended the villa. She stated she did not see the full relevance of it until the article in the newspaper appeared.

Gail was asked about further involvement with the media and she stated as far as she was concerned there would be no further publications.

She was advised accordingly in dealing with the media and to date she has not had any problems, other than a photographer was sent to her mother’s address which she did not particularly want.

She mentioned a man called Brian Kennedy who was working for the McCanns. H e had sent an artist down to do a sketch of the man she saw at the villa.

I asked her if she had seen the previous suspect sketch which had been in the media for several months. She said she may have done in passing but had not paid any particular attention to the media and very rarely had a newspaper.


She had been told by the media that it may appear in the News of the World but as far as she was aware there had been nothing in the paper last Sunday (13.01.08).

I asked her about her son who she had mentioned in her previous statement as having health problems. She stated he is a paranoid schizophrenic and has to take strong medication. Although we did not see him, Gail strongly advised us he would not be capable of making a statement because of this.

I submit this report for your attention.


C. Burrows.
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