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To want to discuss the BBC drama on Shannon Matthews

(148 Posts)
EveOnline2016 Wed 15-Feb-17 21:43:02

I have watched both parts.

I either need to be told IABU or not.

I used to be full of hatred for Karen, but since the program and googling as much as possible from Julie, I have changed my mind.

I know this is an emotional subject, so please don't start with the lynch mob.

But could Karen Matthews be a DV victim.

KindergartenKop Wed 15-Feb-17 21:59:34

The other woman's speech in court implied as much. Emotional abuse, if not also physical.
The drama made me think that she could well have learning difficulties, due to being so manipulated by people.
I'm just basing this on the drama though, dunno about the actual people!

ScrumpyBetty Wed 15-Feb-17 22:00:34

I watched it too and I feel the same as you

Yes, she did an awful awful thing. But she had a bad life, and seems to have slight learning difficulties? Does that excuse her? No of course not, plenty of people have terrible lives and don't end up doing terrible things, we all make choices. But she seemed not to have normal emotions, such as love and concern for her children. She seemed only to think of herself. Perhaps she was unable to make rational and living choices for herself and her family. I don't know.

lionsleepstonight Wed 15-Feb-17 22:00:49

I felt she was certainly portrayed as someone who was either driven by circumstance (plan to leave abusive boyfriend went wrong) or was a bit part in a larger plot (to get reward cash).

Obviously that's how she was portrayed on TV, and unsure of how realistic that was.

But it's certainly made me think.

user892 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:00:52

I don't know, but I don't believe anyone is simply 'evil'. The drama made her look a more sympathetic character imo.

According to her sister, Karen was an awful parent - beat up and neglected her kids, used Shannon as a shoplifting accomplice...

I think she hated Shannon as she was being molested by her paedo boyfriend and she was jealous.

ScrumpyBetty Wed 15-Feb-17 22:01:17

*loving not living!

BarbarianMum Wed 15-Feb-17 22:03:00

Whatever else she was, she was a terrible parent.

user892 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:04:58

A toxicologist at the trial said Shannon had been drugged with Tamazepam for months, regularly (hair samples).

HarryPottersMagicWand Wed 15-Feb-17 22:05:46

I don't think you can go by a drama for an accurate portrayal of KM. Presumably Julie is the source which is biased towards her.

She put Shannon at risk for money and had all her children taken into care. I have no sympathy for her at all. Vile woman.

Maudlinmaud Wed 15-Feb-17 22:09:56

Learning difficulties and life circumstances aside, she was an awful mother. She appeared to try and manipulate all around her but was very transparent. Those poor, poor children.

DearMrDilkington Wed 15-Feb-17 22:10:24

No sympathy from me.

She's a vile woman and its an absolute joke how little time she spent in prison for her actions. It's bullshit that she did the whole thing so she could leave her bloke, she wanted money and attention.

She'd been drugging her kids for a few years, makes you skin crawl when you wonder why..

backtowork2015 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:10:37

Was Shandon being molested by Craig? I didn't recall that

backtowork2015 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:11:09


Runny Wed 15-Feb-17 22:12:20

She came across as being quite child like. I know she has a very low IQ, which is why ive always been exasperated that she was able to conduct a plan like that. The drama certainly implied others were involved but they were unable to pin it on them.

DearMrDilkington Wed 15-Feb-17 22:12:31

back it's never been confirmed either way, however I'd imagine it's because the kids have been through enough without that making the papers too.

BitOfFun Wed 15-Feb-17 22:15:28

There is a good long thread in the TV section if you want to discuss it.

Freakingoutmummy Wed 15-Feb-17 22:29:05

She's a prize twonk. No excuse for the vile situation she forced on her chil. That child deserved better and the evil excuse for a mother she was given was lacking

user1477282676 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:31:27

She obviously has low intelligence and was victim of her circumstances. But I've always felt she was demonised for what was really, the most naive and childlike attempt to garner attention and money.

PickledCauliflower Wed 15-Feb-17 22:32:38

If Karen Matthews did have learning disabilities, I can only imagine that she had very mild learning disabilities.
She certainly had capacity. I think she knew what she was doing - and that she was driven by selfish need.

Megatherium Wed 15-Feb-17 22:35:45

I'm sure she had at least borderline learning difficulties, not least because she apparently thought she'd get away with that idiotic plan. It's not something that even the most wicked of people would contemplate normally, simply because it's so obvious that it couldn't succeed: as soon as Shannon opened her mouth the truth would come out. Plus, it shouldn't have been difficult to work out that it would just be a matter of time for someone to mention the uncle that had been kept carefully out of the picture and for the police to start wondering why.

IHaveBrilloHair Wed 15-Feb-17 22:37:45

There's a couple of other threads on this already.
She may, or may not have been a victim of DV, but drugging her child for months/years goes beyond what I can comprehend.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 15-Feb-17 22:38:41

I think it is very ignorant to write someone off as "evil" etc. I thought the speach by "Julie" at the end was a very good articulation of why we shouldn't be quite so quick to judge those with unimaginable lives. Not that I condone in the slightest any of her behaviour but it is far too simplistic to condemn her as evil. A complex mixture of abuse/chaos /etc etc will have been in the background. Judge away if it makes you feel better, but nothing is that black and white.
I've worked with children from those kinds of backgrounds, heard all their stories, seen the looks of desperation and sheer "ground down" exhaustion on their mothers faces. Not condoning what she did but equally I think the drama did a good job - right at the end- of telling the most important part of that story. It's not just about the community spirit and the pulling together, professionals and policy makers need to be less quick to judge and better at understanding how hard it can be to make "good" choices in those situations. It's like all the healthy eating stuff - try lugging bags of fruit and veg (from an over priced "convenience store") up a hill as you don't have a car and you'll soon figure out one of the reasons people can find it harder than you imagined ...

LadyHelenOfShitsville Wed 15-Feb-17 22:42:02

The abduction debacle alone could have been seen as stupidity which got out of hand BUT the drugging for months prior, the tying the poor child up with a noose whilst she was in captivity, the manchild she hooked up with (17 to her 28 when they got together - him the manipulator?), the child pornography he was looking at in her home, not to mention the accusations of neglect of the DCs long before this.

I cannot get my head round how she kept the pretence up for 3 weeks!

No, she was no victim.

RJnomore1 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:43:35

She's not evil. I'm pretty sure she has some form of learning difficulties. I'm pretty sure she has suffered abuse in some form. I've worked with people like her who live their children but actually don't have the capacity to understand their children as people or the impact their actions have on their children.

She did an evil thing but it's too easy to say she's evil and write the discussion off.

LadyHelenOfShitsville Wed 15-Feb-17 23:04:23

No such thing as evil. Just damaged people re enacting their own suffering on others. That was her choice though.

I was interested to know whether she was in contact with the 3 DC who did not live with her before the fake abduction. She said to the police initially that she only had 6 DC rather than 7 if the program was correct. If she was capable of abandoning them, I guess she wouldn't have thought much about abandoning Shannon (for the 3 weeks) too. She couldn't have gone to Donovan's flat to see her in that time. Even if it had been a game gone too far, after 3 weeks of not seeing one of my DC, I would have been begging to see her to make sure she was OK. KM did not seem bothered.

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