1. ITV Report

No publication of Shannon report

Shannon Matthews Photo: West Yorkshire Police

A report into the case of abducted schoolgirl Shannon Matthews will not be published in full because it could put her and her siblings at risk.

An executive summary of the Serious Case Review into the run-up to Shannon's disappearance in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in 2008 was published two years ago.

The Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board has been under pressure to publish the full report, especially after the Government made a commitment to getting full Serious Case Reviews into the public domain wherever possible.

But today the board finally said it will not be publishing the full overview report.

Board chairman Bron Sanders said the Serious Case Review overview report, no matter how it was redacted, would allow specific children to be identified and would place details of their private lives into the public domain.

The children in this family are all vulnerable and there is no doubt whatsoever that it would be wrong for us to knowingly cause them harm.

"The board always made it clear that we would do our utmost to publish the overview report for this Serious Case Review.

"A huge amount of work has gone into that process over the last two years because we are an open and transparent body who understand the level of public interest in the Matthews case.

"However, Shannon and her siblings are vulnerable children and their welfare must always come first.

"Vital new information has now been considered and it is clear that we cannot publish without putting the children at risk."

– Bron Sanders, Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board

Mrs Sanders said the Government has acknowledged that there will be cases where full publication of a Serious Case Review is not appropriate.

The board's original intention to publish the full report was fought in the High Court by Shannon's father, Leon Rose.

In October, his action was adjourned after "powerful" new "welfare material" was produced and the safeguarding board decided to reconsider its position.

Shannon disappeared from her home in Dewsbury Moor in February 2008. After a massive police operation she was discovered 24 days later at her stepfather's uncle's home less than a mile away.

Karen Matthews Credit: ITV Yorkshire

In January 2009 her mother, Karen was jailed for eight years for what a judge described as a "truly despicable" plot to abduct the nine-year-old Shannon.

Michael Donovan, in whose flat the youngster was found in the base of a bed, was also jailed for eight years.

Both have now been released from prison.

The safeguarding board did publish some new information today relating to Shannon's case.

It said the Progress Review of Learning gives a detailed analysis of agencies' involvement with the family and shows how they have subsequently changed their working practices.