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Madeleine McCann: The Sun versus Christian Brueckner and what Tasmin Sillence really saw

Anorak Saturday, 6 June 2020
Madeleine McCann: The Sun versus Christian Brueckner and what Tasmin Sillence really sawThe Sun has been talking about depraved criminal Christian Brueckner with a “Key Madeleine McCann witness”. But has the paper been sticking to the facts to get a story? The paper reports:



The woman reported the sighting within hours of three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007, and has always been viewed as a credible witness. Her confirmation came amid claims of glaring blunders by Judicial Police feared to have let the beast cheat justice.

The Sun understands from another British witness that Portuguese detectives circulated a photograph of Christian B years ago but failed to act. The second woman saw the image in 2007, and also confirmed it was a man she had seen behaving bizarrely in the days after Madeleine went missing…

A Sun trawl of witness statements all pointed to a man matching the paedophile’s description.



“Claims.” “Understands.” The hunt for facts continues. Can the Sun cut through the fog and help us form a clearer picture?

The Sun mentions British-born Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2007 and living in Portugal since she was two months old. Twice she saw the man in the area of the McCanns’ apartment. The Sun says she “told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block. Tasmin provided police with the photofit picture circulated at the time which bears a striking resemblance to Christian B, 43. It would appear Christian B’s name and background were known to police all along.”

But that’s not exactly what she told police.

The Sun says this is what Tasmin Sillence told police in her statement of 9th of May 2007:



“She saw the man, this time in front of the Ocean Club reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house.”



And:



“*She added that his face was pockmarked*, he looked “ugly” and was casually dressed and wearing large-framed sunglasses.”



The Sun has got things in a muddle. Facts matter. This is what she told them, her words helping to form the efit image you can see above (words translated from Portuguese by Google translate):



Concerning the individual, she describes him as being: Caucasian race, light skin, so he wasn’t Portuguese, but could be British, according to her criteria. Approximately 180 cm tall, thin complexion, 30/35 years of age. Short hair, like shaved with 1 cm of length and fair, but she isn’t sure if it was blonde because the sun was reflecting, and made perception more difficult. She didn’t see the eyes because he wore dark glasses of black colour, with a structure of mass, a thick frame. He had a large forehead. Nose of normal size, a bit pointy and sharp. Large ears, close against the head. Mouth with thin lips, she didn’t see his teeth. Chin pointing up, which stood out on a face that she describes as sharp. No beard, no moustache, a clean shave. No other special signs, apart from *some small pimples on the face as a result of shaving*. He looked ugly, even ‘disgusting’.



Christian Brueckne has pockmarked skin. The witness did not say the man she saw did. He had a bit of pimply shaving rash. And there’s more.

Let’s recall for a second times what the Sun says:

What the Sun says she saw



Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time, told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. *Moments later*, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block.



But the police report does not present the same picture. In it we learn:



She also mentions that she lived in the apartment where the missing child was staying, that belonged to her Grandmother, who is already deceased. That she didn’t actually reside there, but spent extensive and repeated periods of time there, with her Grandmother and her Mother. The apartment was bought in 1994 and sold in 2002 and therefore she knows it perfectly, both from the inside and from the outside.

She wishes to clarify. On the 30th of April, Monday, at around 8 a.m. and when she was walking to the bus stop for the school bus that leaves at 8.15, a path that she walks every day when there is school, she noticed the presence of a male individual, at the back of Madeleine’s house, on a little pathway to the apartments that exists there, looking in an ostensive manner at the house’s balcony. This happened when she was walking down the street, on the left side, which was right in front of the balcony, and the distance between them was the width of the road. That when she was walking down she decided to look at the pathway, because as she lived there, she likes to watch the house and the neighbouring garden. She walked with her mother, that she is certain she didn’t see the man, and she was walking two dogs on a leash, which forced them to cross the road, a bit further down. At that moment she saw the man more closely, as they crossed the road, and then lost visual angle when they finished crossing.

Says that the man didn’t see the deponent, because he was staring at the balcony.

*She presumes that nobody was on Madeleine’s house’s balcony, but she cannot state it beyond doubt.*



On May 2, she saw the same man for the second time. She did not see him again:



She started walking up the street on the left side going up, and saw the man, this time in front of the ‘Ocean Club’s’ reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house in an ostensive manner, where he stood he could observe, she thinks, the house’s two side windows and part of the balcony. She thinks that he could also be looking at the other residences that are located in the same direction.



And then this:



When asked she says that she saw Madeleine once, on a day that she cannot indicate, on the balcony where the man was staring at, the first time. She even waved at her because it was a small child, in a caring gesture.



She did not see the man stare at the balcony and then “moments later” see Madeleine McCann on the same balcony. She used to look at the McCann’s rented holiday home a lot, as she says. She once lived there. She could recall the two dates and times she saw the man and how she did not see anyone on the balcony on either occasion. She did see once Madeleine McCann on the balcony the man had observed but not when he was there.

Such are the facts.
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