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The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews: where is Karen Matthews now? 

Karen denied having any involvement in Shannon's disappearance

shannon mother
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
February 11, 2021
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Channel 5's documentary The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews looks at the investigation into the then-nine-year-old girl, who was found alive and well after 24 days after being hidden by her mother, Karen Matthews, and a family friend in order for them to claim the reward money for her recovery.

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Following Karen's conviction for kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice, she was sentenced to eight years in prison, and served half of her sentence before she was released in 2012. 


Shannon was kept captive for 24 days 

Where is Karen Matthews now? 

Karen moved away from her home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and was given a new surname to protect herself. At the time, the assistant general secretary of Napo, Harry Fletcher, said: "Because of her notoriety, measures will be taken to protect her from threats." 

shannon karen 1

Karen pretended she didn't know the whereabouts of her daughter

According to reports, she has volunteered at a Christian charity shop since her release and was forced to change her identity a second time after being photographed at her new home. 

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MORE: The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews: where is Shannon Matthews now?

She opened up about her life, and her experience in prison, to the Mirror in an interview back in 2018, saying: "When I was first in jail I thought I was going to die. I panicked... Prison made me weaker. I don’t feel like the same person any more. I was beaten up inside because of who I was.

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Karen was released from prison in 2012

"Once they threw a snowball with a rock in it at me and other times I was punched. I didn’t say anything, I was too scared." 

She has continued to deny having any involvement in Shannon's kidnapping, saying: "I’m not Britain’s worst mum. I didn’t kill anybody. None of it’s true. I’m on the edge. It makes me want to kill myself but I’d never do that. I’m scared I’ll die lonely and alone... You can't kidnap your own child. I know the truth and I wasn’t involved in it. I still have nightmares thinking that it’s all going to happen again."

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